As countries in Asia try to create unified polities, many face challenges from minority groups within their own borders seeking independence. This volume brings together international experts on countries in all regions of Asia to debate how differently they have responded to this problem. Why have some Asian countries, for example, clamped down on their national minorities in favour of homogeneity, whereas others have been willing to accommodate statehood or at least some form of political autonomy? Together they suggest broad patterns and explanatory factors that are rooted in the domestic arena, including state structure and regime type, as well as historical trajectories. In particular, they find that the paths to independence, as well as the cultural elements that have been selected to define post-colonial identities, have decisively influenced state strategies.
Jacques Bertrand is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia (Cambridge University Press, 2004). Andre Laliberte is Associate Professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. He is the author of The Politics of Buddhist Organizations in Taiwan, 1989-2003 (2004) and has edited, with Marc Lanteigne, The Chinese Party-State at the Turn of the Millennium: Legitimacy and Adaptation (2008).
Introduction Jacques Bertrand and Andre Laliberte; 1. Revolutionary state formation and the Unitary Republic of Indonesia Anthony Reid; 2. The crisis of border states in India Rajeev Bhargava; 3. Pakistan: neither state nor nation Sumit Ganguly; 4. Constitutional politics and crisis in Sri Lanka Sujit Choudry; 5. The dilemmas of Burma's multinational society Ardeth Thawnghmung; 6. The double-edged sword of autonomy in Indonesia and the Philippines Jacques Bertrand; 7. China and the virtual Taiwan nation Andre Laliberte; 8. The failure of China's ideologies in Tibet Gary Tuttle; 9. Leninism's long shadow in central Asia Edward Schatz; Conclusion Jacques Bertrand and Andre Laliberte.