Notes From A Recent Trip to Xinjiang: Nation, State, Surveillance & World Order

22 Nov 2018

Siddiq Wahid

Venue: ICWA
Time: 3:00 PM


For the last three hundred years, the world political order has been dominated by the Westphalian state system. The latter imagined political order as a “social contract” between nations and “representative” states in which governments provide nations and individuals with civic amenities, human rights and social justice. The introduction of the system worldwide, after its initiation in the mid-seventeenth century, was chronologically uneven from a geographically, but it had proliferated throughout most of the globe within two centuries. That world order can be said to have been severely challenged, if not broken down, in the last decade of the twentieth century initiating the search for a “new world order” that is still in the making thirty years later.

The presentation will contemplate the trajectory of this process (‘globalization’?) by using the story of the Uighur nation in the context of its inclusion in the Chinese state system. Who are the Uighurs? How did they arrive at this juncture in history? Why has it happened? A brief talk is intended to initiate a discussion on the tension between states and nations worldwide: what does it mean for human rights and political justice for peoples as opposed to territorialstates?

About the Speaker

Prof. Siddiq Wahid is a historian of Eurasian political history, with a focus on Central Eurasia and Tibet. He is an academic in temperament, an historian by training and an activist by compulsion. He is at present an Adjunct Fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), Delhi. Prof. Wahid began his academic career with a B.A. in political philosophy from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a Masters and PhD from Harvard University in the United States, where he also taught until his return home to Jammu & Kashmir. He is the Founding Vice Chancellor of Islamic University of Science & Technology. Since then his appointments have been as Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research (CPR); Director, Institute for Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir and the Maharaja Gulab Singh Chair Professor of Modern History, University of Jammu. His most recent publications have been Tibet and Its Relations with the Himalaya, (2017),Editor, Academic Foundation, New Delhi, and “The Epic of King Gesar” in Sources of Tibetan Tradition, (2013), Ed. Schaeffer, Kapstein& Tuttle, Columbia University Press, New York.



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