Moving Beyond Identity: The Tibet Question Revisited
This research paper explores the discursive construction of China and Tibet’s national identity, and how it interrelates with China-Tibet relations. In contrast to studies suggesting a defining and determinant role of national identity on China-Tibet relations, this research paper argues that the collective identity of Tibet and China is a hegemonic and highly contested construction, and Tibet and China, therefore, should look beyond identity and search for an alternative approach to nation/state building without succumbing to either Chinese nationalism or Tibetan nationalism. Drawing on the work of some of the critical theorists, this research paper shows that it is bound to fail to build a political community based on a collective national identity. This research paper proposes that the authorities of Tibet and China should negotiate for future institutional reform of the Tibet Question by the recognition of the contingent identities of the multitude.