Flourishing borders, prosperous nationalities? : a human security approach to identifying the underlying causes of ethnic conflict in China
Baker, James William.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Why is ethnic conflict prevalent among some minorities in China but not others? Recent riots in Western China demonstrate the difficulties China faces integrating its ethnic minorities. China's strategy for assimilating minorities relies on improving living standards through economic development, but some, such as the Brookings Institution's Cheng Li, advocate for increased minority rights in China. Upon closer inspection, both strategies fail to fully address the causes of ethnic unrest in China. China's economic policies have improved the living standards of its citizens, yet some minorities are restive. China suppresses the political rights of its citizens, yet some minorities are peaceful. Instead, China's policy of suppressing the ethnic identity of some groups while promoting others may provide a more complete explanation. This project hypothesizes that threats to a group's ethnic identity are the most likely cause of minority unrest in China.; This study utilizes the most recent scholarship on Human Security to conduct an analysis of three ethnic minority groups in China. The dual intent is to both determine the validity of the human security approach to security studies, as well as, analyzing the underlying cause of ethnic unrest in China. The study depends on a wide selection of data from official Chinese statistical sources, academic databases, International Governmental Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, and media sources.; This study finds that Human Security as a tool for scholarship is still an underdeveloped concept and requires more research before being a useful approach for academic study. Additionally, the results of the case studies provide an unclear picture of the true reasons behind the disparate levels of ethnic unrest in China. Ethnic identity does seem to play a large role in the likelihood for unrest from some groups, but does not adequately explain dissatisfaction among groups that enjoy more tolerance from the Chinese Communist Party.
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