Imaginative Geographies and State Reliance: Examining Taiwan's Shanyuan Bay and Miramar Resort
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The development of Miramar Resort in Taitung, Taiwan has attracted much debate and attention in the past ten years. The case contains themes of rural poverty, indigenous agency, environmental protection, and economic development; therefore, any potential outcome has far-reaching and deeper implications for the local rural and indigenous residents but also for Taiwanese society’s future approaches to similar development projects which appear to pit economic development against environmental protection and indigenous rights. Through qualitative interviews, this case study examines dynamics of power and agency from an environmental justice standpoint, focusing on the themes of how landscape perception is shaped and utilized by outsiders to gain agency and how reliance of rural communities upon the state serve as a limiting force in their development. Such dynamics have shaped responses to the Miramar case and can reinforce existing inequalities if not considered critically.