Confrontational Contestation and Democratic Compromise: The Sunflower Movement and Its Aftermath

Brian Christopher Jones, Yen Tu Su

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This piece describes the two conflicting governmental visions involved in the events surrounding the Taiwan Sunflower Movement, and attempts to justify the Movement from the perspective of democratic theory. In doing so we analyse the justifications Sunflower Movement leaders put forward for their occupation, and present a novel theory of “confrontational contestation”. The theory stems from the belief that the Sunflower Movement events represented a unique type of democratic disobedience, and new understandings regarding disobedience have emerged from these circumstances. The second part of our paper analyses the cases for and against prosecuting Sunflower Movement members. Ultimately, we decide that prosecution would only enhance political conflict, while non-prosecution (i.e., democratic compromise) would enhance democratic peace, therefore advocating the latter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-210
Number of pages18
JournalHong Kong Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Contestation
  • Democracy
  • Democratic peace
  • Democratic conflict
  • Disobedience
  • Freedom of speech
  • Protest
  • Sunflower Movement
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Political Science and International Relations


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