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China and Taiwan, perceptions and misperceptions

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


This project will analyse the role of Taiwan, using behavioural economics and experimental Economics methods.
Taiwan’s political and legal status and its future remains one of the most contested questions in East Asia. The three main stakeholders regarding Taiwan’s current and future status are Taiwan itself, mainland China, and the United States. Their positions on Taiwan’s political and legal status are far apart.

The state of the art will start with a brief description of Taiwan’s status in international law and the positions of the three main stakeholders on Taiwan’s statehood: Taiwan itself, mainland China, and the US. The second part will describe the academic and political relevance of the research topic: it shows how tensions between Taiwan and mainland China have increased in recent years and that no viable solution for the conflict exists at the moment.

The enduring academic and political relevance of the research topic lies in the increasing tensions in recent years and the wide gap in the positions. The topic of cross-strait relations attracts a lot of research from scholars in international relations, Chinese studies, and Taiwan studies, but most are applying traditional methods of research concentrating on an analysis of the cross-strait, foreign, and security policies of mainland China, Taiwan, and the US. This project will apply new research methods as game theoretical experiments, that allow for a systematic and comparative assessment of the feasibility of existing concepts and models for Taiwan’s future status. So far, such an assessment of the feasibility of the existing models and concepts is missing.

Methodology: Experiments, Experimental and Behavioural Economics.


Brun, Georg. 2018. “Thought Experiments in Ethics.” In Stuart, Fehige, and Brown 2018, 195–210.

Bush, Richard C. 2013. Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations: Brookings Institution Press.

Bush, Richard C. 2017. “What Xi Jinping said about Taiwan at the 19th Party Congress.” Accessed August 12, 2018.

Tsang, Steve. 2000. “China and Taiwan: A Proposal for Peace.” Security Dialogue 31 (3): 327–36.

Vieider, Ferdinand, Thorsten Chmura, Tyler Fisher, Takao Kusakawa, Peter Martinsson, Frauke Thompson Mattison, and Adewara Sunday. 2015. “Within- versus between-country differences in risk attitudes: implications for cultural comparisons.” Theory and Decision 78 (2): 209–18.

Vieider, Ferdinand M., Mathieu Lefebvre, Ranoua Bouchouicha, Thorsten Chmura, Rustamdjan Hakimov, Michal Krawczyk, and Peter Martinsson. 2015. “Common Components of Risk and Uncertainty Attitudes Across Contexts and Domains: Evidence from 30 countries.” Journal of the European Economic Association 13 (3).


Professor Thorsten Chmura

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

For informal enquiries about this project, please email Angelo Bisignano.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity. Find out more about fees and funding here.

Guidance and support

Find out about guidance and support for PhD students.

Still need help?

Thorsten Chmura