INNER ASIA –– STATES, ETHNICITY, AND BAZAARS
Lecture course, Anthropology UN2003 (ANTHV2003) –– 3 credits Instructor: Rune Steenberg (rsr2151)
This course seeks to disentangle the current political, social and economic dynamics in Inner Asia, Eurasia's landlocked heartland. Central themes we will explore the interactions of include:
— Life time dictators, nationalism, ethnic conflicts, revolutions;
— large weddings, closely knit social networks, rampant corruption;
— international mining, border trade, multilingualism, financialization;
— and Islamic revival.
In order to do this it takes three tours into the history of Inner Asia to follow some of the large dramas that shaped the stage into what we find today:
— dynamism of nomadic states and settled oasis agriculture;
— long distance trade along the Silk Road;
— development of modernistic states and social engineering;
— construction of ethnicity; and
— establishment of a socialist economy and its transformation into capitalist/neo-liberal ones.
At the same time, it provides basic social science theory on state and empire; ethnicity and identity; and economy from which to analytically approach these topics.