Dynamics of political resistance in Tibet: Religious repression and controversies of demographic change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In a novel approach to studying political mobilization among ethnic Tibetans in China, this article addresses two key questions. First, considering the Chinese state's repressive policies towards Tibetan Buddhism, what role does religion play in fomenting Tibetan political resistance? Second, what implications can be drawn from the changing ethnic demography in Tibet about the conflict behaviour of Tibetans? Using various GIS-referenced data, this article specifically examines the 2008 Tibetan protest movements in China. The main results of our analysis indicate that the spread and frequency of protests in ethnic Tibetan areas are significantly associated with the number of officially registered Tibetan Buddhist sites, as well as the historical dominance of particular types of Tibetan religious sects. Furthermore, our analysis shows that the effect of Han Chinese settlement on Tibetan political activism is more controversial than previously thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-98
Number of pages30
JournalChina Quarterly
Issue number217
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014

Keywords

  • China
  • Demographic change
  • Protest movements
  • Religious repression
  • Tibet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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