Indiana University Bloomington
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Chinese Nation-Building as, Instead of, and Before Globalization

Abstract: In this era of “globalization”, nation-building has become a relatively neglected topic.  In this essay, I use Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s textbook, Globalization, as a framework for exploring nation-building in China.  I take his eight-concept chapter outline—disembedding, acceleration, standardization, interconnectedness, movement, mixing, vulnerability, and re-embedding—and apply it to dynamics of nation-building in China.  In so doing, I tease out actual and potential relationships among the processes evident in Chinese nation-building and globalization.  In addition, I explore some of the relationships, productivities and pitfalls of “globalization” and “nation-building” as concepts.

Andrew Kipnis, Senior Fellow, Departments of Anthropology and Political & Social Change, The Australian National University