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Chinese Approaches to Ethnic Diversity

Chinese Approaches to Ethnic Diversity Boston University Thomas S. Mullaney, Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011, 256 pp. Pitman B. Potter, Law, Policy, and Practice on China's Periphery: Selective Adaptation and Institutional Capacity. London: Routledge, 2011, 272 pp. The two books reviewed here clarify how China addresses the problem of internal diversity. All states have to address this issue to some extent. Multiethnic empires like the Qing chose a strategy that recognized the separate political, legal, and social rights of communal groups (Mongols, Tibetans, Han Chinese, and the rest), as long as those groups accepted the overarching authority of the emperor.1 The Qing also drew in part on a far older Chinese vision of the imperium as a set of increasingly distant tribute zones, where people became less politically integrated and less civilized as one moved out from the center. While not all Chinese dynasties viewed themselves in this way, the Qing shared this broad mode of governance with many other empires in world history. In Europe, the horrific religious warfare that tore the continent apart in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries fostered an alternative vision of the state as nation rather http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review University of Hawai'I Press

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'I Press
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Abstract

Boston University Thomas S. Mullaney, Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011, 256 pp. Pitman B. Potter, Law, Policy, and Practice on China's Periphery: Selective Adaptation and Institutional Capacity. London: Routledge, 2011, 272 pp. The two books reviewed here clarify how China addresses the problem of internal diversity. All states have to address this issue to some extent. Multiethnic empires like the Qing chose a strategy that recognized the separate political, legal, and social rights of communal groups (Mongols, Tibetans, Han Chinese, and the rest), as long as those groups accepted the overarching authority of the emperor.1 The Qing also drew in part on a far older Chinese vision of the imperium as a set of increasingly distant tribute zones, where people became less politically integrated and less civilized as one moved out from the center. While not all Chinese dynasties viewed themselves in this way, the Qing shared this broad mode of governance with many other empires in world history. In Europe, the horrific religious warfare that tore the continent apart in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries fostered an alternative vision of the state as nation rather

Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 28, 2012

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