The Art of Neighbouring
The Art of Neighbouring
Making Relations Across China's Borders
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Table of Contents
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Introduction Neighbouring in the Borderworlds along China's Frontiers Juan Zhang and Martin Saxer Chapter 1 Bright Lights Across the River: Competing Modernities at China's Edge Franck Billé Chapter 2 Realms of Free Trade, Enclaves of Order: Chinese-Built 'Instant Cities' in Northern Laos Pál Nyíri Chapter 3 New Roads, Old Trades: Neighbouring China in Northwestern Nepal Martin Saxer Chapter 4 Trading on Change: Bazaars and Social Transformation in the Borderlands of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang Henryk Alff Chapter 5 A World Community of Neighbours in the Making: Resource Cosmopolitics and Mongolia's 'Third Neighbour' Diplomacy Uradyn E. Bulag Chapter 6 The Mobile and the Material in the Himalayan Borderlands Tina Harris Chapter 7 Odd Neighbours: Trans-Himalayan Tibetan Itineraries and Chinese Economic Development Chris Vasantkumar Chapter 8 'China Is Paradise': Fortune and Refuge, Brokers and Partners, or the Migration Trajectories of Burmese Muslims toward the Yunnan Borderlands Renaud Egreteau Chapter 9 Neighbouring in Anxiety along the China-Vietnam Border Juan Zhang Chapter 10 China's Animal Neighbours Magnus Fiskesjö Bibliography

Reviews and Features

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China’s growing presence in all of our worlds today is felt most keenly by those living directly on the country’s borders. They, together with the Chinese people who also inhabit the borderlands, are parties to a dazzling array of of China-driven transformations unfolding on a vast scale in economics, politics, culture, kinship and other spheres.

Consequently, Juan Zhang and Martin Saxer’s edited volume The Art of Neighbouring: Making Relations Across China’s Borders (Amsterdam University Press, 2017) is a timely contribution to our understanding of what is going on at many points of China’s local contact with its 14 neighbouring states. The collected volume sees anthropologists, geographers and historians draw on extensive fieldwork all around the country’s borders with Russia, Laos, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar and Vietnam, seeking in part to answer the question “what does China’s rise mean for its immediate neighbours?” (p. 12). But The Art of Neighbouring is much more than this, for it also offers a theoretical intervention into old debates over China’s past and present approaches to the outside world, and encourages us to look anew at how states and peoples living next-door engage one another more broadly.

The Art of Neighbouring addresses a critical gap in existing scholarship on the localized impacts of China’s rise. Through the use of multi-sited and multi-level cases in each of the chapters, it weaves together a rich tapestry of lived experiences that provides nuanced insights into ‘borderworlds’ as loci of Chinese interrelations with its neighbors, and vice versa. - Pichamon Yeophantong, Journal of Chinese Overseas 14 (2018)

Martin Saxer, J. Zhang (eds)

The Art of Neighbouring

Making Relations Across China's Borders

For the nations on its borders, the rapid rise of China represents an opportunity-but it also brings worry, especially in areas that have long been disputed territories of contact and exchange. This book gathers contributors from a range of disciplines to look at how people in those areas are actively engaging in making relationships across the border, and how those interactions are shaping life in the region-and in the process helping to reconfigure the cultural and political landscape of post-Cold War Asia.

Martin Saxer

Martin Saxer was a Clarendon scholar at Oxford and received his doctorate in 2010. He conducted extensive fieldwork in Siberia, Tibet and Nepal. He currently leads the ERC Starting Grant project Remoteness & Connectivity: Highland Asia in the World.

J. Zhang

Juan Zhang is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of New England in Australia. Her work focuses on cross-border mobilities, and transgressive politics in cross-border encounters.