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Author: Subject: Grunfeld, A. Tom: Cultural Security among Ethnic Minorities: Tibet and Québec
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[*] posted on 2-17-2018 at 12:15 PM
Grunfeld, A. Tom: Cultural Security among Ethnic Minorities: Tibet and Québec


Lětopis Abstract 2017 2: Grunfeld, A. Tom: Cultural Security among Ethnic Minorities: Tibet and Québec

The term "cultural security“ covers a range of social, cultural and political meanings. My interest here is how minorities (ethnic, religious, cultural, linguistic, etc.) within a nation state ensure that their cultures are sustained to a satisfactory degree. Ruling elites aspire universally to social stability and minority populations that are equal stakeholders in, and loyal citizens of, the nation state. This is especially true in China where the ruling elites fear disorder and the breakup of the country to an inordinate degree, giving the issue of minority loyalty particular prominence. Tibet was incorporated into the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1950 and for the past 67 years the central government has struggled with how to best achieve these goals of stability and inclusion. Since the 1990s the central government’s policy has been to win the loyalty of Tibetans primarily through economic means. To that end tens of billions of Yuan have been poured into the region, physically transforming it while a prosperous nascent Tibetan middle class has emerged. Yet, Tibetan loyalty, and stability, is still very much in doubt. Indeed, tension between Tibetans and ethnic Chinese (Han), if anything, is increasing due to official intervention in cultural matters, particularly in language instruction and the Tibetan Buddhist religion. This paper examines the situation in Tibet emphasizing the lack of cultural security. As a contrast I also look at the province of Quebec in Canada where reassurances and concrete policies guaranteeing local culture have successively led to stability and loyalty to the state.
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