Twofish's Blog

December 14, 2006

Note to Mark Harrison

Filed under: academia, china, finance, taiwan — twofish @ 6:00 pm

You might be interested in my blog which deals with some of the complex interconnections between Chinese, American, and Taiwanese identities. Questions of identity and international law and politics have a personal relevance for me, because the question of whether and how identities and nationalism can be reconciled is central to whether or not I can exist as a functioning human being.

I will be buying your book shortly, but my feeling is that the path to keep the peace is to understand and embrace the complexities of the concept of identity rather than to try to fit those complexities into a set of rationalistic rules. Once you embrace the complexities of identity there is enough flexibility to come up with ambigious and multiple meaning constructions that keep the peace. If you try clarify the situation, then all of the flexibility disappears and one ends up with some very dangerous situations.

This has some implications to theories of international law. One frustrating thing about legalistic approaches to Taiwanese identity is that it forces one to make the dangerous simplifications and removes the ambiguity that I believe is essential for keeping the peace. One challenge for the international legal order is to create new structures that embrace the complexities of human existence as well as recognize the passions and emotions that have global implications.


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for your interest in my book. I hope you appreciate the way it does indeed try to embrace the complexities of identity.

    Comment by mharrison — December 14, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

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