Autonomy, Ethnicity, and Poverty in Southwestern China

Autonomy, Ethnicity, and Poverty in Southwestern China


SKU: 9781403984463


The Chinese state reaches out to ethnic communities in three different channels of autonomy, ethnicity, and poverty.  However, each of these channels designates a submissive position to ethnic citizenship.  Amidst theoretical uncertainty on how the state has affected local communities, ethnic minorities can develop subjectivity.  Through this, they can sincerely participate in the state’s policy agenda, conveniently incorporate the state into the ethnic identity, give feedback to the state within the framework of official discourse, or hide behind the state to evade ethnic identification.  Rather than finding a life outside the state, the ethnic communities can, in one way or another, position themselves inside the state.
Chih-yu Shih teaches political psychology, cultural studies and China studies at National Taiwan University and National Sun Yatsen University and has published numerous books and articles including Negotiating Ethnicity in China, Navigating Sovereignty, Collective Democracy, Symbolic War, State and Society in China’s Political Economy, China’s Just World, and The Spirit of Chinese Foreign Policy, etc.

“Shih’s fascinating book examines the interplay of the Chinese state and ethnic groups to show a complex relationship of cultural governance and resistance. Drawing on years of fieldwork in South China, Shih charts how ethnic subjectivities take shape with state power, occasionally against it, and often alongside it.”–William A. Callahan, Chair of International Politics, University of Manchester and Co-Director of the British Inter-University China Centre


“Chih-yu Shih is a pioneering figure in the study of contemporary Chinese politics.  The conceptual innovativeness and empirical richness of his writing has consistently placed his work at the cutting edge of the field.  The study of minority nationalities forwarded in this book is sure to further cement such a reputation. Professor Shih convincingly challenges much of the existing conventional wisdom about the contemporary relationship which between minorities and the contemporary Chinese state.”

–Allen Carlson, Associate Professor of Government, Cornell University

Introduction: Performing Unity * POLITICAL, CULTURAL, AND ECONOMIC UNITY * The Teleology of the State: Top-Down Regional Ethnic Autonomy * Performing Ethnicity: Politics of Representation in Multi-Ethnic Guilin * Silencing the Poor: The Statist-Liberal Incapacity in Western Hunan * THE STATE TURNED UPSIDE DOWN * The State as a Borderline Identity: Setting the Jing Ethnicity in Dongxing * Imagined Genealogy: Behind the Cultural Formation of Huishui’s Buyi Nationality * Cement or Excrement? Autonomous Ecological Thinking in Xiaoki’s Poverty Discourse * OUT OF PLACE * 3 + 1 + 1 = 1: Disempowerment in Multi-Ethnic Autonomous Longsheng * Lost Agency for Change: The Diasporic Identity in Yizhou’s Shui Villages * RIDING THE CITIZENSHIP * Assimilation into Mulao Consciousness: The Rise of Participatory Rigor in Luocheng * Living with the State: Multiplying Ethnic Yao Narratives in Jinxiu * Learning to Be Rational: The Drive toward Marketization in Fenghuang * Conclusion: From Unity to Harmony-Progress or Regression?

Additional information

Weight 1 oz
Dimensions 1 × 6 × 9 in