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Dispossession and Accumulation in an Ethnic Minority Border Region: The Kazakh Project in Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang, China

  • Author / Creator
    Qu, Yao
  • This study examines Altay Prefecture, one of China’s border regions inhabited by ethnic Kazakhs, as a case to elucidate how the Chinese state has achieved dispossession and accumulation through the management of ethnicity and culture in an ethnic minority region. Within the framework of a case study, I employ document analysis and ethnographic fieldwork methods to collect data, which is then analyzed using the critical policy framework. The research results reveal an intensive, specific set of programs that aim to integrate Kazakh people and land into the Chinese economy and rapidly restructure Kazakh livelihoods, justified by the Ecological Civilization and the Anti-Poverty War in Xi's era. Under the guise of Ecological Civilization, the Chinese state has achieved dispossession and accumulation in Altay Prefecture by dispossessing Kazakh land and dismantling Kazakh nomadism. In the name of the Anti-Poverty War, the Chinese state has developed husbandry, agriculture, and ethnic tourism, which produce value by commodifying, exploiting, and eliminating Kazakh identity and culture simultaneously. This study contributes to our understanding of how dispossession and capital accumulation operate in one of China’s ethnic minority regions, and the results have implications for China's policy adoptions at a local level and for geopolitics in Central Asia.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2023
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-84t4-yd45
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.