Frontier Encounters: Knowledge and Practice at the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian Border

Frontier Encounters: Knowledge and Practice at the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian Border Author: Franck Billé, Grégory Delaplace and Caroline Humphrey (eds.)
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-906924-87-4 £15.95
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-906924-88-1 £29.95
PDF ISBN: 978-1-906924-89-8 £5.95

eBook Editions: (more info)


 
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Overall, this volume is an enjoyable and informative read. Not only it challenges traditional ways of approaching the study of borderland areas, but it blends together different perspectives on the topic. And this represents its strength. I expect this volume to have an impact at political level, due to its rich ethnographic material and analysis of social dynamics involved in these border zones.
—Laura Siragusa, Sibirica, Vol. 12, No. 3, Winter 2013, pp. 90-92
 
 
China and Russia are rising economic and political powers that share thousands of miles of border. Yet, despite their proximity, their practical, local interactions with each other and with their third neighbour Mongolia are rarely discussed. The three countries share a boundary, but their traditions, languages and worldviews are remarkably different.

Frontier Encounters presents a wide range of views on how the borders between these unique countries are enacted, produced, and crossed. It sheds light on global uncertainties: China’s search for energy resources and the employment of its huge population, Russia’s fear of Chinese migration, and the precarious economic independence of Mongolia as its neighbours negotiate to extract its plentiful resources.

Bringing together anthropologists, sociologists and economists, this timely collection of essays offers new perspectives on an area that is currently of enormous economic, strategic and geo-political relevance.

This collective volume is the outcome of a network project funded by the ESRC (RES-075-25_0022) entitled "Where Empires Meet: The Border Economies of Russia, China and Mongolia”. The project, based at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (University of Cambridge), ran from 28 January 2010 to 27 January 2011. That project formed the foundation for a new and ongoing research project "The life of borders: where China and Russia meet" which commenced in October 2012. More information about both projects and Frontier Encounters is available here.

Since publication this book has been viewed over 8,463 times (last updated April 2014).

Title: Frontier Encounters. Knowledge and Practice at the Russian, Chinese and Mongolian Border
Editors: Franck Billé, Grégory Delaplace, and Caroline Humphrey
Publication date: September 2012
Number of pages: x + 281
Dimensions: 6.14" x 9.21" | 234mm x 156mm
BIC subject codes: JHMC (Social and cultural anthropology, ethnography); RGCP (Political geography)
ISBN Paperback: 978-1906924-87-4
ISBN Hardback : 978-1906924-88-1
ISBN Digital (PDF): 978-1906924-89-8
ISBN Digital ebook (epub): 978-1906924-90-4
ISBN Digital ebook (mobi): 978-1906924-91-1
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026

1. A Slightly Complicated Door: The Ethnography and Conceptualisation of North Asian Borders
Grégory Delaplace
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.01

2. On Ideas of the Border in the Russian and Chinese Social Imaginaries
Franck Billé
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.02

3. Rethinking Borders in Empire and Nation at the Foot of the Willow Palisade
Uradyn E. Bulag
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.03

4. Concepts of "Russia" and their Relation to the Border with China  
Caroline Humphrey
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.04

5. Chinese Migrants and Anti-Chinese Sentiments in Russian Society
Viktor Dyatlov
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.05

6. The Case of the Amur as a Cross-Border Zone of Illegality
Natalia Ryzhova
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.06

7. Prostitution and the Transformation of the Chinese Trading Town of Ereen
Gaëlle Lacaze
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.07

8. Ritual, Memory and the Buriad Diaspora Notion of Home
Sayana Namsaraeva
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.08

9. Politicisation of Quasi-Indigenousness on the Russo-Chinese Frontier
Ivan Peshkov
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.09

10. People of the Border: The Destiny of the Shenehen Buryats
Marina Baldano
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.10

11. The Persistence of the Nation-State at the Chinese-Kazakh Border
Ross Anthony
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.11

12. Neighbours and their Ruins: Remembering Foreign Presences in Mongolia
Grégory Delaplace
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.12

Appendix 1: Border-Crossing Infrastructure: The Case of the Russian-Mongolian Border
Valentin Batomunkuev
DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0026.13

Appendix 2: Maps

Franck Billé
is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, and member of the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit, University of Cambridge. His current project focuses on representation and mimicry in the twin cities of Blagoveshchensk and Heihe, on the Sino-Russian border. He previously carried out research in Mongolia where he investigated the prevalence of anti-Chinese sentiments. He has published articles in Inner Asia, Cambridge Anthropology and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled Spectral Presences: Anxiety, Excess and Anti-Chinese Speech in Postsocialist Mongolia. He can be contacted at franck.bille@gmail.com.

Grégory Delaplace is a social anthropologist, working as a lecturer at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre. His most recent research concerned the political dimension of the invisible in Mongolia today (or the invisible dimension of politics), whereby ghosts, or spirits, are led to play a role in the postsocialist nation building process. His publications include L’invention des morts. Sépultures, fantômes et photographie en Mongolie contemporaine (2009), and Parasitic Chinese, Vengeful Russians: Strangers, Ghosts and Reciprocity in Mongolia (2012). He can be contacted at gregory.delaplace@mae.u-paris10.fr.

Caroline Humphrey is an anthropologist based at the University of Cambridge who has worked in Russia, Mongolia, China, India, Nepal and Ukraine. She has researched a wide range of themes including Soviet and post-Soviet provincial economy and society; Buryat and Daur shamanism; Jain religion and ritual; trade and barter in Nepal; environment and the pastoral economy in Mongolia; and the history and contemporary situation of Buddhism, especially in Inner Mongolia. Her recent research has concerned urban transformations in post-Socialist cities. She can be contacted at ch10001@hermes.cam.ac.uk.

Frontier Encounters
 is the outcome of a network project funded by the ESRC (RES-075-25_0022) entitled "Where Empires Meet: The Border Economies of Russia, China and Mongolia”. The project, based at the Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies Unit (University of Cambridge), ran from 28 January 2010 to 27 January 2011. That project formed the foundation for a new and ongoing research project entitled "The life of borders: where China and Russia meet" which commenced in October 2012 and looks particularly at the experiences of the Buriad ethnic group - a semi-nomadic people from a region that extends across Mongolia, Russia and China. 

More information about both projects and Frontier Encounters is available here.

Dr Sayana Namsaraeva's video "Life on the divide: the Buriad people and the world's longest border" can be viewed here.