Constructing the "enemy": a discourse theoretical analysis of the hegemonic struggle for Taiwan


TaiwanDTA delves into contemporary discussions surrounding the Taiwan Strait conflict, examining perspectives both within and beyond Taiwan in the context of the complex great power rivalry between China and the United States.

Notably, discursive dynamics related to Taiwan have undergone a significant transformation since 2016, giving rise to heightened polarization, distrust, and antagonism.

The overarching research objectives include investigating:

  1. the articulation of the signifiers “Taiwan” and “China” within hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses;
  2. the underlying factors and dynamics shaping the discursive portrayal of China as a perceived threat in the Global North;
  3. the construction of “Taiwaneseness” in relation to the “Chinese threat” across political, journalistic, and academic domains.

Employing an interdisciplinary methodological framework that integrates discourse-theoretical analysis (DTA) with insights from diverse fields such as history, privilege, international relations, and populism, the project aims to comprehensively analyze and criticize the impact of prevailing anti-China hegemonic narratives in the Global North.

Ultimately, the research seeks to enhance our comprehension of the Taiwan Strait conflict, providing insights that can inform more effective policies and decision-making to address this global security challenge.



Project-related publications



  • 22/04/2024. “Presentism, Idealization, Privilege, and Uniformity: Key elements shaping the ‘China threat’ narrative in Taiwan-Related discourses”. La Cina e il mondo: prospettive storiche e contemporanee. Ca’ Foscari.
  • 29/02/2024. "Who is the threat? The discursive struggle between ‘law-based’ and ‘rules-based’ international order in the Taiwan Strait”. Dipartimento di Studi sull'Asia e sull'Africa Mediterranea. Ca’ Foscari; 
  • 23/10/2023. "The overlooked factors shaping the construction of China as ‘enemy’: cultural privilege, whataboutism, and disinformation on disinformation". Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism, Charles University of Prague.