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Collaborative Nationalism: The Politics of Friendship on China's Mongolian Frontier
     

Collaborative Nationalism: The Politics of Friendship on China's Mongolian Frontier

by Uradyn E. Bulag
 

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Cosmopolitanism and friendship have become key themes for understanding ethnicity and nationalism. In this deeply original study of the Mongols, leading scholar Uradyn E. Bulag draws on these themes to develop a new concept he terms "collaborative nationalism." He uses this concept to explore the paradoxical dilemma of minorities in China as they fight not against

Overview

Cosmopolitanism and friendship have become key themes for understanding ethnicity and nationalism. In this deeply original study of the Mongols, leading scholar Uradyn E. Bulag draws on these themes to develop a new concept he terms "collaborative nationalism." He uses this concept to explore the paradoxical dilemma of minorities in China as they fight not against being excluded but against being embraced too tightly in the bonds of "friendship." Going beyond traditional binary relationships, he offers a unique triangular perspective that illuminates the complexity of regional interaction.

Thus, Collaborative Nationalism traces the regional and global significance of the Mongols in the fierce competition among China, Japan, Mongolia, and Russia to appropriate the Mongol heritage to buttress their own national identities. The book considers a rich array of case studies that range from Chinggis Khan to reincarnate lamas, from cadres to minority revolutionary history, and from building the Mongolian working class to interethnic adoption. So-called friendship and collaboration permeate all of these arenas, but Bulag digs below the surface to focus on the animosity and conflicts they both generate and mask. Weighing the options the Mongols face, he argues that the ethnopolitical is not so much about identity as it is about the capacity of an ethnic group to decide and organize its own vision of itself, both within its community and in relation to other groups. Nationalism, he contends, is collaborative at the same time that it is predicated on the pursuit of sovereignty.

Editorial Reviews

Caroline Humphrey
Bulag's brilliant new book examines China's 'culture of intimacy,' in which minorities like the Mongolians and Tibetans are embraced in a suffocating hug. In a theoretical tour-de-force, Bulag overturns old conceptions of majority-minority relations, replacing them with a notion of society as a triadic space of possibilities. This is an essential book for understanding China, seeing it not as a unity but as a field of collaboration and contention.
Peter Perdue
Uradyn Bulag, a distinguished ethnographer of Mongolia, explores emotional and political ties between Mongols and Chinese in this intriguing new book. Mongolia, as a former great empire that divided into an independent nation and a subordinated ethnic group within China, offers an unusual and fascinating case study that will interest students of nationalism and of Chinese history, as well as theorists of contemporary identities in the age of globalization.
Prasenjit Duara
Bulag has succeeded in capturing—or recapturing—the significance of Inner Mongolia to the geopolitics of East Asia. In showing how virtually all twentieth-century regimes in Northeast Asia competed to appropriate the world-conquering symbolism of Chinggis Khan, and, paradoxically, the spiritual power of Lamaism, Collaborative Nationalism makes a case for Mongol agency in this exemplary study of the 'new’ political history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442204331
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
07/16/2010
Series:
Asia/Pacific/Perspectives
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
302
File size:
407 KB

Meet the Author

Uradyn E. Bulag is reader in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge.

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