scispace - formally typeset

Showing papers in "European Journal of East Asian Studies in 2006"


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper takes modern China's dilemma of how to deal with the legacy of its imperial past as the starting point for a discussion of the drawn-out re-creation of China in the twentieth century. The particular focus is on the important role of non-Han ethnic minorities in this process. It is pointed out that the non-recognition and forced assimilation of all such minorities, in favour of a unified citizenship on an imagined European, American or Japanese model, was actually considered as a serious alternative and favoured by many Chinese nation-builders in the wake of the overthrow of the last imperial dynasty in 1911. The article then proceeds to a discussion of why, on the contrary, ethnic minorities should instead have been formally identified and in some cases even actively organised as official minorities, recognised and incorporated into the state structure, as happened after 1949. Based on the formal and symbolic qualities of the constitution of these minorities, it is argued that new China is also a new formulation of the imperial Chinese model, which resurrects the corollary idea of civilisation as a transformative force that requires a primitive, backward periphery as its object.

31 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: As a major source of social values in East Asia, Confucianism assumes especial significance amidst the proliferation of instrumental rationality in modern societies. This study attempts to answer the question: how Confucian are contemporary Chinese? By way of constructing an ideal type of Confucian actors, which is then applied to a survey of three Chinese communities, this study tries to formulate a new perspective in depicting the character of modern Confucian actors, measured in terms of their dynamic proximity to the Confucian ideal type. Our approach marks a shift of emphasis, both empirically and methodologically, compared with previous work on this topic. On the empirical side, our study breaks with the long-standing, classical distinction between the 'gentleman' and the 'commoner' prevalent in Confucian discourse. Degrees of proximity to Confucian values are viewed in representational—i.e. non-evaluative—terms. In constructing the ideal type of Confucian actors, we distinguish between formal and substantive values in Confucianism. This analytical distinction allows our study to demonstrate the continued relevance of Confucianism. While substantive values change over time, the formal, analytical core that captures the essence of Confucianism continues to survive in the face of the vicissitudes of modernity and the spread of instrumental rationality.

29 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Timor-Leste has been facing the arduous task of building a viable nation-state since the country's 2002 restoration of independence. The dual challenge consists of interdependent efforts at nation-building and state-building. The author discusses both terms with regard to their relevance to public education and economic development. He raises the question of why nation-building and state-building experience rather contrary prioritisations in these functionally close policy fields. In the educational sector, government activities demonstrate Fretilin's orientation towards Portuguese-speaking countries. The introduction of Portuguese as an official language has accentuated existing lingual and generational cleavage lines. Economic policy in Timor-Leste, however, tends to be more pragmatic and less ideological. The article aims to make an innovative contribution to the interrelationship of nation-building and economic development by addressing important issues on the agenda such as the exploitation of oil, agriculture, tourism, the economic dependency on the former oppressor Indonesia, and foreign aid. The author argues that economic growth will eventually shape the future format of the East Timorese nation as either a new self-confident political player or a withdrawn peasant nation.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This is a critical overview of the anthropology of Chinese kinship focusing on the twentieth-century Euro-American literature. I first deal with the less well-known early literature of the period before the foundation and closure of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. I then show how the thematic and theoretical heterogeneity of this early literature was superseded during the 1960s and 1970s by a powerful but reductive paradigmatic lineage model of Chinese kinship and society, largely derived from documentary-based studies of lineage organisation in the late imperial period and consolidated through field research in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Inspired by earlier critics of this lineage-model, tuned in to new anthropological trends in the field of kinship studies and triggered by the post-Mao opening of the PRC, the 1990s marked the beginning of a very heterogeneous cycle of renovation generated by new field research. Seen as a whole, this current cycle of renovation has been undertaking a revision of the older descent-centred comparative view of Chinese kinship and is giving important insights to current anthropological debates about the nature of human kinship.

27 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In 1937, bitter and brutal fighting raged for three months in and around the city, with intense bombardment from ships and planes. Within weeks, hundred of thousands of residents were thrown on to the streets and made homeless. This paper is concerned with the massive and sudden transformation of Shanghai residents into refugees and the consequences on the resources and management of the city. In the first part, I argue that 1937 created an entirely new situation no authority was prepared to meet because of the scope of the population exodus and to the actual blockade of the city. The second part is devoted to the refugee population, in both quantitative and qualitative terms. It examines who the refugees were—those who found refuge in camps—and why they did not reflect the normal structure of the local population. The last part is concerned with the challenges refugee camps had to face in maintaining a huge destitute population with limited resources in war-torn overcrowded urban space. War caused tremendous suffering among the civilian population, especially children, despite the fairly successful organisation of support by the authorities and private organisations.

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper aims to provide a detailed explanation of how the promotion of different nationalist discourses in China entails distinct repercussions on both government and regime legitimacy, looking for the rationale of governmental appeal to both affirmative and assertive nationalism within the context of general legitimacy crisis suffered by communism in the last years.Through the analysis of case studies including the return of Hong Kong and Macao under Chinese sovereignty and the success of Beijing's bid for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, this paper regards the rise of affirmative nationalism as beneficial for the legitimacy of both the Jiang government and the CCP regime as a whole. However, the increasing relevance of assertive nationalism, discussed with reference to the Diaoyu dispute with Japan, and the diplomatic crisis with the US after the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade and the unauthorised landing of a US surveillance plane on Hainan, has put a challenge on Jiang's government, since it has been effectively used by the leftist wing of the party for gaining more leverage within the CCP with regard to the reformists. At the same time, assertive nationalism has reinforced regime legitimacy, providing effective ammunition to criticise the liberals.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This paper compares the ethnic (indigenous) movements in northern Thailand with the violent conflict in the southernmost provinces of the country, and considers how these movements relate to both the state and the local population. The construction of the nation as an 'imagined community' is a project of the national political elites. Similarly, the construction of an ethnic identity emerges from the local elites. This implies that national integration and minority formation are simultaneous processes, in which national elites enforcing a national identity confront local elites constructing minority identities. The potential conflict is reduced through co-opting the local elites into the ruling system. This has not been the case for the ethnic minorities of the north. There they either define themselves as representatives of the minorities, or monopolise administrative positions established through decentralisation policies. In the south the conflict in which the local elites lost their power positions dates back decades, if not centuries. There too co-optation did not take place until the 1980s. Then a relative pacification set in, when possibilities for political participation for these elites improved. The conflict escalated again when these possibilities were reduced after the election in 2001 with a new government policy.

7 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This article studies the process of nation-building in Indonesia. Using a historical approach for the analysis of what is portrayed as a nonlinear, long-term process, it discusses relevant developments during the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial eras, with particular attention to the New Order and most recent periods. The analysis focuses on the complex relations between unity and diversity and highlights the multiplicity of frame-works within which inhabitants of the present Republic of Indonesia have constituted their identities, including national, transnational and subnational ones. Two questions that receive particular attention are the role of religion and the relations between the centre and various parts of the country. The article argues that various factors, including religion and ethnicity, have contributed to nation-building in specific circumstances, but have had contrary effects under other conditions. It also shows that progress and regression in nation-building has partially been the voluntary or involuntary effect of the tactical use governments and other political actors have made of manifold communal differences. It adds that the identity of Indonesian citizens becomes increasingly complex and trans- as well as subnational components increasingly important, but that this does not automatically imply the end of the nation-building process.

6 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The current issue of the European Journal of East Asian Studies addresses the topic of nation-building. It has been chosen because the term ‘nation-building’ has been revived, so to speak, in the social sciences as well as in anthropology and history, for several reasons. It has also become a common term these days in the arena of international politics; its notion is positive and clearly distinguished from more ‘alarming’ terms such as ‘nationalism’. In the field of international relations, nation-building has gained a prominent position in the debate on failing or even failed states, conflict management and development theory. It is legitimate to say that nation-building has re-entered the debate, for it had been relegated to the backbenches during the latter half of the Cold War period—at least in the perception of Western observers. In Asia and particularly in the post-colonial nation-states of South and Southeast Asia, however, nation-building has been a constant part of the political agenda since the 1950s. The articles in this volume relate to this importance. The Western world turned its eyes back towards nation-building when the great conflict areas of the 1990s, such as Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and lately Iraq, offered a gruesome picture of what state failure and societal fragmentation can mean to the inhabitants of an entity called a nation-state. On an international level, nation-building is currently discussed from an instrumental perspective. As Jochen Hippler points out, nation-building is regarded ‘either as a preventive political option to avoid the break-up of the state and social fragmentation, as an alternative to military conflict management, as part of military interventions or as an element of post-conflict policies’.1 The instrumental character is obviously emphasised by external observers of processes of nation-building rather than by insiders. The view from within a

6 citations