Resistance to alien rule in Taiwan and Korea

Michael Hechter, Ioana Emy Matesan, Chris Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although alien rule is widely assumed to be illegitimate, nationalist resistance to it varies across time and space. This article explores why there was greater nationalist resistance to Japanese colonial rule in Korea than Taiwan from the turn of the twentieth century to the end of World War II. Resistance to alien rulers requires both a supply of participants in nationalist collective action and a demand for national self-determination. The article assesses two principal propositions: (1) that the supply of participants increases to the degree that native elites are stripped of their traditional authority and offered few incentives to collaborate; and (2) that the demand for national self-determination decreases to the degree that alien rule is fair and effective. A comparative analysis of the effects of Japanese alien rule in Taiwan and Korea suggests that nationalist resistance is greater in the earliest phases of occupation, that the greater native elites' opportunities, the weaker the resistance to alien rule; and that the fairer the governance, the weaker the resistance to alien rule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-59
Number of pages24
JournalNations and Nationalism
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Collective action
  • Indirect rule
  • Japanese colonialism
  • Legitimacy
  • Nationalism
  • Occupation regimes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations


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