2012 — Frontier Encounters (ed.)

Illustration Frontier Encounters

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

Book editor, with Franck Billé & Caroline Humphrey

Cambridge, Open Book Publishers, 2012.

ISBN: 978–1-906924–87-4


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.

PDF fully available online.

Table of Contents:

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