In this book, I tell the story of the first 24 years of the Green Party Taiwan’s (GPT) history, from its establishment in 1996 through to the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020. Therefore, the book is located in the study of niche and, in particular, ecological parties. The vast majority of this literature has focused on cases of European Green Parties, so I hope that this first book-length study on an Asian Green Party will contribute to our understanding of global ecological parties. Do the theories and frameworks designed to explain European niche parties, for instance, translate well to an Asian context?
Much of my research on Taiwanese political parties can be summed up in terms of ‘how,’ ‘why’ and ‘so what?’ This book is no exception, as it revolves around a small number of core questions. Firstly, I am interested in the overall impact of the party, in terms of both its electoral performance and its policy goals and international engagement. This is my ‘so what?’ Secondly, I examine the topic of party change. In other words, I aim to track how the party has adjusted its issue emphasis and campaign strategies over time – its changing human face and organisation. These are the ‘how’ questions. Lastly, I have three ‘why’ questions. I will discuss how to explain the formation of Taiwan’s Green Parties. Additionally, I am interested in understanding why the party has adopted its changing issue and campaign strategies, as well as how to explain the party’s changing electoral fortunes. Therefore, even though this is a detailed, single party study, it uses the case as a means to engage with some of the central questions in global party politics and, especially, the niche parties literature.