Throughout most of its history, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (GMD) adopted largely similar approaches to governing the ethnocultural diversity of “China.” Both political parties claimed sovereignty over the territories and peoples of the former Manchu Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and sought to incorporate, and ultimately domesticate, its barbarism into the new nation-state. Across the vicissitudes of their struggle for power, both parties adopted a range of accommodationist tactics while insisting on the unity and singularity of the national people: viewing the nation-building project as fundamentally a “problem” that needed to be overcome through top-down party-state intervention. This view remained largely unchanged following the establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the retreat of the GMD and its alternative Republic of China (ROC) to the island of Taiwan in 1949, with both regimes privileging the “Han”/“Chinese” ethnic majority and its norms.
Over the last couple of decades, we have witnessed a steady divergence of competing nationalisms in the PRC and the ROC which remains largely unexplored. In this talk, James Leibold will explore some of the key drivers of these diverging nation-building projects and offer some preliminary thoughts on how we begin to explain and conceptualise these contrasting policies and ideologies.
Read more and register for the event here.
University of Helsinki