When it comes to secret societies among Uyghurs, it is very likely that the most secret and most widespread among them is the Uyghur Christian community. With a population of over 10 million people, Uyghurs are the largest ethnic group in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in South-Western China. Uyghurs are predominantly Sunni Muslims belonging to the Hanafi sect. My earliest knowledge of Christian Uyghurs begins with the story a Uyghur man named Abdullah, who I met in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
John Shepherd (alias)
October 28, 2019
Puerto Rican Muslims and the “Flaw in the Algorithm of Cosmopolitanism”
Ken Chitwood uses his ethnographic fieldwork with Puerto Rican Muslims to explore the“flaws in the algorithm of cosmopolitanism”. He argues that cosmopolitanism should not be imagined only as a moral posture of world openness and engagement (as opposed to neo-nationalism or entrenched tribalisms), but as a complex and chaotic physical, emotional, and discursive encounter between peoples, places, and things that will continue to collide in the late-modern world.
May 21, 2019
Confucius Institutes: Cultural exchange or Chinese state propaganda?
One of China’s most prominent attempts at educational and cultural soft power has recently encountered considerable difficulties. This article explores both international and domestic responses to the rise of Confucius Institutes as well as their recent fall from grace. According to their general principles Confucius Institutes must devote themselves to satisfying the demands of people from different countries and regions in the world who learn the Chinese language....
February 20, 2019
Is there ‘Hope’ for Democracy in Hong Kong after the Umbrella Movement?
Over 77 days in 2014 the Umbrella Movement was a student-leaded protest for political freedom in Hong Kong.
While during the protests media attention was largely accorded to political celebrities such as Benny Tai or Joshua Wong, this article aims to review the movement from the perspective of ordinary activists, to document their experience, and provide a reflection on this social movement.
After becoming a significant global player in the world economy and the global geostrategic calculus, China now seeks to redefine the normative framework that determines how states engage with their citizens and with each other.
Hacer Z. Gonul
Julius M. Rogenhofer
February 21, 2020
Reflections from the frontline of the protests in Santiago de Chile
Who does a democracy serve when vast sections of the population feel marginalised and indignant, expressing their anger in in forceful weekly protests? What is the function of the state and its institutions when the police is associated, by many, with crimes and insecurity? And what is the way forward for a divided country, in which large sections of the population find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet? This conversation brings together local and international perspectives to tap into these and other questions about the protests that have brought turmoil to the streets of Santiago de Chile over the past months.
The Rohingya Refugee Crisis is one of the most significant humanitarian crises in recent decades and is rooted in the forced displacement of the Rohingya ethnic group by the military-backed government of Myanmar. The Rohingyas are some of the most persecuted people in the world due to decades-long non-acknowledgement of their citizenship rights by the government of Myanmar.This article evaluates some recent proposals and potential ways forward.
April 15, 2019
Why we should not ignore the women of ISIS who fled fighting
Now that ISIS has been defeated on the ground, there is an urgent need to address what happens to foreign female ISIS members who stay in Iraq and Syria.
When the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) declared “Islamic Caliphate” in Iraq and Syria in 2014, the self-appointed Caliph of the self-described Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, called on all Muslims around the world to join ISIS in order to help build the new territorial identity.
Busra Nisa Sarac
January 18, 2019
Yezidi Women under ISIS
ISIS is already notorious for its barbarity, and the brutal treatment of women living under ISIS-controlled territories is no secret. Campaigns of rape, torture and mass murder have been proliferating since the extremist group seized territories in Iraq and Syria, but their treatment of Yazidi women and children marked a new chapter of systematic genocide of an innocent population.
*Image: Levi Clancy [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
Busra Nisa Sarac
January 14, 2020
Why pan-Turkic ultra-nationalism is no satisfying answer to the Uyghur struggle: Thoughts from a Brussels demonstration
On this gloomy, freezing Sunday afternoon, I walked out from a demonstration in Brussels puzzled and disconcerted. Like many, I answered the call to "break the silence around the Uyghurs". Attacks on Uyghur scholars and academic freedom, along with the detention of at least one million Uyghurs in camps over the past three years, raised serious concerns among my colleagues and friends from universities and international organizations...
June 6, 2019
Migrant Workers in the Digital Market: China’s Platform Economy
The platform economy has become a key economic pillar of China and a catalyst for its economic transition from an industrial economy to internet-based service economy. Hong Yu Liu explores how the growth of this sector impacts on the lives of millions of, often marginalised, migrant workers, who dominate this sector's workforce. He also sheds light on why this important policy area remains understudied both by academics and policymakers.
Hong Yu Liu
April 4, 2019
The jewel that is no longer shining:
A new understanding of informal settlements, case of Morabab hill, Iran
Moradab hill, an informal settlement in Karaj city, Iran has become a hotspot for city branding and redevelopment due to its visibility. First constructions began fifty years ago, through spontaneous and illegal self-constructions around a hill site. This led to the full occupation of the hills. The state and municipality cleared the hills using a series of mass evictions.
January 15, 2019
Kyrgyzstan: In China’s tightening embrace?
Kyrgyzstan’s inability to escape China’s increasingly assertive influence is emblematic of the struggles faced by many smaller nations, who received investment from China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The country will have to decide between the lures of development and the demands of concerned citizens.