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‘Othering’ in the construction of Chinese citizenship.

Jakimów, Małgorzata and Barabantseva, Elena (2016) '‘Othering’ in the construction of Chinese citizenship.', in Politics of the 'other' in India and China : western concepts in non-western contexts. . Routledge contemporary Asia series. (55).


The majority of scholarly analyses of citizenship in China in the reform period have equalled citizenship with rights-endowed belonging to the Chinese state. This understanding of citizenship emphasises the role of civil, political and social rights on the one hand, and its state territory-bound character on the other. The distribution of rights within the PRC, and the dichotomous relationship between state and society have been central to the examinations of citizenship regime in the post-Maoist China. In this chapter we argue that the focus on rights and state territory does not take into account the ambiguity of the PRC’s citizenship regime, which engenders multiple expressions of belonging cutting across the territorial limits of the Chinese state. We discuss the negotiations of citizenship of ethnic minorities and rural migrants to illustrate how belonging to the Chinese state has been formulated in conversation and tension with the global developments of citizenship concept, neoliberal transformations, and the legacies of China’ imperial, semi-colonial, and socialist history.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Politics of the 'Other' in India and China: Western Concepts in Non-Western Contexts on 18 Feb 2016, available online:
Date accepted:23 April 2014
Date deposited:14 September 2018
Date of first online publication:18 February 2016
Date first made open access:No date available

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