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Scholar’s book launch on politics of national identity in China at SOAS

31 October 2013

Dr Enze Han, a lecturer in the International Security of East Asia, will launch his latest book Contestation and Adaptation: The politics of national identity in China at SOAS, University of London.

Taking place on Tuesday 12 November at 7pm in the Khalili Lecture Theatre, the event will be chaired by Professor Michel Hockx, Director of SOAS China Institute and joined by Dr Laura Newby, Lecturer in Chinese at University of Oxford.

In his book Dr Han provides a new theoretical framework to explain national identity among minority and ethnic majority groups in China. It unravels the complexities of national-identity, focusing on the interactions between domestic and international forces that inform ethnic groups' national-identity contestation.

Enze Han book pic

Dai Novice in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan


The scholar examines how five major ethnic minority groups in China negotiate their national identities with the Chinese nation-state: Uyghurs, Chinese Koreans, Dai, Mongols, and Tibetans. The scholar points out, of the fifty-five ethnic minority groups in China, only the Tibetans and Uyghurs have forcefully contested the idea of a Chinese national identity.

Thomas J. Christensen, William P. Boswell Professor of World Politics of Peace and War and Director of the China and the World Program, Princeton University said: "Professor Han provides a subtle and learned analysis of ethnic political mobilization and internal conflict in contemporary China. His innovative theoretical approach-combining international and domestic factors-explains why rebellion against Beijing's rule has largely been limited to two of China's many ethnic minorities. This important book will be of great interest to students of comparative politics, international relations, and Asian studies.

The event is free to attend, registration is required. Book now.