Beginning with the history of Xinjiang and its unique population of Chinese Muslims, Gardner Bovingdon follows fifty years of Uyghur discontent, particularly the development of individual and collective acts of resistance since 1949, as ...
Author: Gardner Bovingdon
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Political Science
"The Uyghurs is an original and significant contribution to the study of ethnic relations within the People's Republic of China. Very few foreign scholars have been able to study Xinjiang in such detail. Garadner Bovingdon's thoughtful discussion and comprehensive coverage make this must reading for anyone interested in contemporary China."-Peter C. Perdue, Yale University, author of China Marches West: The Qing Conquest of Central Eurasia "The Uyghurs is a depth cast study of the failure of the Chinese government to integrate the Uyghurs, one of China's fifty-six nationalities, into the so-called great family of the nation. The book offers a unique perspective to understand the difficult and on-going process of Chinese nation-state building efforts. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in China's nationality issues and the rise of ethnic nationalism in the post-Cold War world."-Suishen Zhao, University of Denver, author A Nation-State by Construction: Dynamics of Modern Chinese Nationalism "Gardner Bovingdon brings to this project fluency in both Uyghur and Chinese languages, a deep knowledge of Han and Uyghur society and the PRC political system, and a comparative perspective enriched by wide reading in social science literature on identity and nationalism. Though he focuses on political questions, Bovingdon displays a humanist's concern for his subjects as individuals and eschews social science jargon for elegantly turned phrases that crystallize the issues in a memorable way."-James Millward, Georgetown University, author of Eurasian Crossroads: A History of Xinjiang For more than half a century, many Uyghurs, members of a Muslim minority in northwestern China, have sought to achieve greater autonomy or outright independence. Yet the Chinese government has consistently resisted theses efforts, countering with repression and a sophisticated strategy of state-sanctioned propaganda that emphasizes interethnic harmony and Chinese nationalism. After decades of struggle, Uyghurs remain passionate about establishing and expanding their power within government, and China's leaders continue to push back, refusing to concede any physical or political ground. Beginning with the history of Xinjiang and its unique population of Chinese Muslims, Gardner Bovingdon follows fifty years of Uyghur discontent, particularly the development of individual and collective acts of resistance since 1949, as well as the role of various transnational organizations in cultivating dissent. Bovingdon's work provides fresh insight into the practices of nation building and nation challenging, not only in relation to Xinjiang but also in reference to other regions of conflict. His work highlights the influence of international institutions on growing regional autonomy and underscores the role of representation in nationalist politics, as well as the local, regional, and global implications of the "war on terror" on antistate movements. While both the Chinese state and foreign analysts have portrayed Uyghur activists as Muslim terrorists, situating them within global terrorist networks, Bovingdon argues that these assumptions are flawed, drawing a clear line between Islamist ideology and Uyghur nationhood.