Towards cultural citizenship? Cultural rights and cultural policy in Taiwan

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This article reviews existing literature on the construction of cultural citizenship, and argues that cultural citizenship expands the concept of 'citizenship', promotes citizens' consciousness and ensures the protection of minority rights. Since the 1990s, three cultural policies have arisen related to cultural citizenship in Taiwan: 'Community Renaissance', 'Multicultural Policy' and the 'Announcement of Cultural Citizenship'. 'Cultural citizenship' has expanded the concept of citizenship in two ways. First, it has led to the consideration of the minority rights of Taiwanese indigenous peoples, the Hakkas, foreign brides and migrant workers in 'citizenship'; and second, it has placed emphasis on 'cultural rights' in addition to civil rights, political rights and social rights. This article begins by exploring what approach to cultural citizenship is used in cultural policy, and what approach is suitable for practising cultural citizenship in Taiwan. I argue that minority groups practise their cultural rights with the public participation of Community Renaissance. Taiwan's case bears out Stevenson's view: a society of actively engaged citizens requires both the protection offered by rights and opportunities to participate. Finally, this article shows the challenges and contradictions of cultural citizenship in Taiwan: the loss of autonomy and the continuation of cultural inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-110
Number of pages19
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • cultural citizenship
  • cultural policy
  • cultural rights
  • multiculturalism


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