The State as a Borderline Identity—Distancing the Jing Ethnicity from Vietnam

  • Chih-yu Shih


Contemporary political science and international relations studies take for granted the modern sovereign state as its analytical unit. To recognize a state is to fix it within its geographical borders. This statist assumption faces serious challenges from emerging cultural studies literature that problematizes the borders.1 Reducing the borders to a discursive construction supported by the power practice of those acting in the name of the state, the new literature inspects those micro-practices that use the state to serve functions as well as fulfill meanings outside the familiar scope of international relations. Unlike those political scientists who reproduce state institutions by treating the state as given, students of cultural studies deconstruct the state by approaching the issue from the perspectives of those who are supposedly loyal to the state. In the latter research strategy, the scholar no longer looks at the citizen in a top-down position presumably embedded in statism. Instead, cultural studies provide the bottom-up possibility so that the citizen can look at the state in different perspectives.


National Identity Chinese State Vietnamese Community Vietnamese Government Korean Community 
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© Chih-yu Shih 2007

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  • Chih-yu Shih

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