Postcolonial Asia offers at least seven types of states and nations. In their somewhat uncritical pursuit of total nationalism, territorial Asian states compete with their archipelagic cousins. The sea gypsy nations--spread across the South China Sea and other East Asian states--reject the monopoly of land as the only inhabitable space, discounting territory as an essential constituent of a nation. Ironically, while history kept them outside the fold of the territorial states, the present attempts to co-opt them. Only by challenging, as the Asian sea gypsies do, land's claim to being the sole inhabitable territory within law, and rethinking the sea as a place of danger can we truly vernacularise our statist imaginations.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Singh: Vernacular Nations: Westphalia and the Many Lives of States in Asia
Prabhakar Singh (Jindal Global Law School) has published Vernacular Nations: Westphalia and the Many Lives of States in Asia (Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 51, no. 25, June 18, 2016). Here's the abstract: