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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #220: December 19, 2005

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 39 - Issue 04 - October 2005
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Three Futures: Global Geopolynomic Transition and the Implications for Regional Security in Northeast Asia (pp761-792)
BRENDAN HOWE (Ewha Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul, Korea)
Future predictions in security studies tend to fall into two broad intellectual traditions, liberal modernist hypotheses, and structural-realist or geopolitical hypotheses. These two major schools of thought essentially agree on the rationality of participants, but disagree about the nature of the environment facing policymakers and thereby framing their decisions. This project considers theoretical, rational, and statistical models associated with these approaches, analyzes the available data for future projection with regard to the Northeast Asian sub-region, and introduces a third rational future based on the social construction of a regional geopolynomic community, with America as a political entrepreneur, her regional allies as a winning coalition, and China and Russia as partners for peace. The focus of this work is on the Northeast Asian subset of the international system, containing the countries of China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, North and South Korea, and considering the undeniable role played by the United States in the region, although at times statistical and theoretical evidence forces representation of a larger constituency.

Transcending Boundaries: Nishida Kitaro K,ang Yu-Wei, and the Politics of Unity (pp793-816)
C. S. GOTO-JONES (University of Leiden)
Boundaries were smashed and broken as modernity struck its first blows in Asia in the nineteenth century. The British and the French chipped away at the borders of China, and the USA ripped open the seal that enveloped Japan in sakoku. Imperialism, or neo-imperialism, represented a way of overcoming boundaries, of decreasing the salience of other territorial units. However, it was also a way of expanding boundaries, of projecting one's own territory and sustaining the priority of these new (modern) borders over the claims of (allegedly pre-modern) indigenous peoples. Boundaries themselves began to take on a distinctly modern persona–and they were the property of the modern, Western powers.

Faith and War Eyewitnesses to the Japanese invasion of China: Quebec's Jesuit priests (pp817-843)
DIANA LARY (Department of History, University of British Columbia)
My thanks for help in writing this paper go to the Jesuit priests whose letters and diaries I have used; to Fathers Rosario Renaud and Jacques Langlais, the historians of the Quebec Mission in China; to Madame Isabelle Content, archivist of the Jesuit Order in St. Jerome, Quebec; and to my mother, M.M.E. Lainson, who helped me to understand the religious life of Roman Catholics in the 1930s.

The U. P. Congress and 'Hindu Unity': Untouchables and the Minority Question in the 1930s (pp845-860)
WILLIAM GOULD (University of Leeds)
In a letter to Sir Samuel Hoare in September 1932, on the eve of his 'fast unto the death' against the principle of separate electorates for untouchables, Gandhi wrote:For me religion is one in essence, but it has many branches and if I, the Hindu branch, fail in my duty to the parent trunk, I am an unworthy follower of that one indivisible, visible religion…. My nationalism and my religion are not exclusive, but inclusive and they must be so consistently with the welfare of all life.

The Rise of Hindu Nationalism in India: The Case Study of Ahmedabad in the 1980s (pp861-896)
ORNIT SHANI (Tel Aviv University)
The massacre of Muslims in Ahmedabad and throughout Gujarat in February 2002 demonstrated the challenge of Hindu nationalism to India's democracy and secularism. There is increasing evidence to suggest that government officials openly aided the killings of the Muslim minority by members of militant Hindu organisations. The Gujarat government,s intervention did little to stop the carnage. The communalism that was witnessed in 2002 had its roots in the mid-1980s. Since then, militant Hindu nationalism and recurring communal violence arose in Ahmedabad and throughout Gujarat. This study aims to shed light on the rise and nature of communalism since the mid-1980s.

Urban Riots and Cricket in South Asia: A Postscript to 'Leveling Crowds' (pp897-927)
STANLEY J. TAMBIAH (Harvard University)
My book Leveling Crowds was published in 1996, and around the same time and in succeeding years there was a spate of books on much the same topic, but primarily focused on India. This essay discusses the implications of some of these studies for my chief submissions, and also responds to the comments of some reviews of my book. It is hoped that this postscript will amplify and enrich our investigation of the dynamics of ethnonationalist conflicts in South Asia.

Death and Celebration among Muslim Women: A Case Study from Pakistan (pp929-980)
AMINEH AHMED (University of Cambridge)
After September 11 2001 questions about the nature and society of Islam were asked all over the world. Unfortunately in the rush to provide answers inadequate and even distorted explanations were provided. Muslim groups like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan with their brutal ways came to symbolise Islam. The need to understand society through a diachronic and in-depth study was thus even more urgent. The following work is an attempt to explain how Muslims organise their lives through an examination of rituals conducted by women. This particularistic account has far-reaching ramifications for the study of Muslim society.

This article seeks to contribute to the general debate on Islamic societies. In particular it contributes to the ethnographic discussion on the Pukhtun. First, it seeks to establish the distinctive sociality of Pukhtun wealthy women or Bibiane in terms of their participation, within and beyond the household, in gham-khadi festivities, joining them with hundreds of individuals from different families and social backgrounds. Second, the article makes a case for documenting the lives of this grouping of elite South Asian women, contesting their conventional representation as idle by illustrating their commitment to various forms of work within familial and social contexts. Third, it describes the segregated zones of gham-khadi as a space of female agency. Reconstructing the terms of this agency helps us to revise previous anthropological accounts of Pukhtun society, which project Pukhtunwali in predominantly masculine terms, while depicting gham-khadi as an entirely feminine category. Bibiane,s gham-khadi performances allow a reflection upon Pukhtunwali and wider Pukhtun society as currently undergoing transformation. Fourth, as a contribution to Frontier ethnography, the arguments in this article lay especial emphasis on gham-khadi as a transregional phenomenon, given the relocation of most Pukhtun families to the cosmopolitan capital Islamabad. Since gham-khadi is held at families, ancestral homes (kille-koroona), new variations and interpretations of conventional practices penetrate to the village context of Swat and Mardan. Ceremonies are especially subject to negotiation as relatively young convent-educated married Bibiane take issue with their 'customs' (rewaj) from a scriptural Islamic perspective. These contradictions are being increasingly articulated by the female graduates of an Islamabad-based reformist religious school, Al-Huda. Al-Huda, part of a broader regional and arguably national movement of purist Islamization, attempts to apply Quranic and hadith prophetic teaching to everyday life. This reform involves educated elite and middle-class women. These women actively impart Islamic ways of living to family members across metropolitan–rural boundaries. The school,s lectures (dars, classes) provide a basis for questioning 'customary' or Pukhtun life-cycle practices, authorizing some Bibiane to amend visiting patterns in conformity to the Quran. The manipulation of life-cycle commemorations by elite and middle-class women as a vehicle of change, Islamization and a particular mode of modernity furthermore becomes significant in the light of recent socio-political Islamic movements in post-Taliban Frontier Province. More broadly, the article contributes to various sociological and anthropological topics, notably the nature and expression of elite cultures and issues of sociality, funerals and marriage, custom and religion, space and gender, morality and reason, and social role and personhood within the contexts of Middle-Eastern and South Asian Islam.

Modern Asian Studies (2005)
Copyright ©2005 Cambridge University Press

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