BRI as cognitive empire: Epistemic Violence, ethnonationalism and alternative imaginaries in Zomian highlands

Sims, Kearrin (2022) BRI as cognitive empire: Epistemic Violence, ethnonationalism and alternative imaginaries in Zomian highlands. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography. (In Press)

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China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has become the lodestar of Beijing’s efforts to increase its global political and economic influence. This article interrogates BRI discourse, arguing that the normative adoption of BRI narratives as a means for making sense of connectivity’s between China and other places risks producing new forms of epistemic violence against subaltern populations. The empirical focus of this paper is on China-Laos relations, and the epistemic positioning of highland ethnic minority groups in northern Laos. This context offers a valuable case study for examining BRI discourse due to: the profound effects of Chinese investment in Laos; the geostrategic importance of Laos as a BRI ‘gateway’ between China and Southeast Asia; the deep histories of ethnic minority engagements across China and Laos; and the limited extant research on both China-Laos relations and the more localized effects of Chinese actors within the highland border regions.

Item ID: 69798
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1467-9493
Keywords: Belt and Road, China, Laos, Epistemic Violence, Ethnic Minorities, Zomia
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Author. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography published by Department of Geography, National University of Singapore and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2022 21:37
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4404 Development studies > 440499 Development studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2303 International relations > 230302 International aid and development @ 100%
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