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Identity Insecurity and the Tibetan Resistance Against China

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Abstract:

This article re-examines the five-decade-old Tibetan struggle against Chinese rule, asking what drives this multifaceted resistance. It argues that identity insecurity has been at the heart of the Tibetan struggle, and takes a position against the problematic practice in both the academic literature and popular discourse of treating Chinese policies and practices as security-driven and the Tibetan struggle as motivated by ethno-nationalistic impulses. It charts the vigorous contestation within the Tibetan diaspora between those standing for complete independence and others who are satisfied with "greater autonomy" and examines the multifaceted resistance inside Tibet. It also recognizes the unifying effects of the widespread loyalty to the Dalai Lama and fears for the survival of Tibetan identity. The article also examines the links between Tibet and its diaspora. All these themes are developed while demonstrating the security rationale behind the Tibetan struggle.

Keywords: CHINA; IDENTITY; SECURITY AND DIASPORA; SINO-TIBETAN CONFLICT; TIBET

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5509/2013863515

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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