Identity Insecurity and the Tibetan Resistance Against China
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.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 2013
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- Pacific Affairs is a peer-reviewed, independent, and interdisciplinary scholarly journal focusing on important current political, economic and social issues throughout Asia and the Pacific. Each issue contains approximately five new articles and 40-50 book reviews. Published continuously as a quarterly since 1928 under the same name, it is the oldest English-language journal with a focus on Asia and the Pacific. It enjoys an international reputation based on the high quality of articles, and its extensive book reviews section.
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