"War on Terror" as a Diversionary Strategy: Personifying Minorities as Terrorists in the People's Republic of China

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Abstract

This study investigates the relation between minorities and the state in the context of China and its "war on terror". The study shows that in some instances states like China utilize diversionary strategies, such as "war on terror", in order to deflect public attention from recurring domestic troubles, to solve the problem of legitimacy and to rally their citizens around the flag of their regime. These diversionary strategies aim to scapegoat a particular group (in most cases an ethnic or religious minority) for current problems of the country and by "othering" this group, the state tries to achieve an in-group/out-group effect and to unify the people. In fact, by creating a "suspect community", the Chinese state has aimed to consolidate its own "imagined community". In this study the case of the Uyghur minority in China and the state's policies toward this ethnic group will be used to demonstrate that the Uyghur minority was selected as the domestic other following September 11, 2001, in order to demonize Uyghur dissent groups in diaspora as well as to unify the Chinese people by using the perception of terrorist threat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-527
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Muslim Minority Affairs
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations

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