There has been a growing interest in the historical development of criminology(ies) throughout the world. This paper examines the development of criminology in Taiwan (Republic of China) using both questionnaire and interview data. Textbooks, institutional development, and research activity are taken as proxy measures of a criminological tradition. Beginning with criminology in Republican China (1929-1949), the article explores the key features of change in criminology against the background of Taiwan's own particular adoption of social, political and economic 'modernisation'. Foreign influence and the contemporary meaning of 'indigenous' are considered. The article ends with a research agenda for a grounded historical sociology of criminology on Taiwan; key identified research questions relate to sponsorship, research priorities and the production of criminological knowledge; the reception of research by policy communities and practitioners; the relationship between criminological knowledge and politics; and the processes of selective appropriation. © Springer 2006.