Economic integration of ethnic minorities in Asia. Between exploitation and development

Panel organised by: Karsten Giese (GIGA Institute of Asian Studies, Hamburg)
giese@giga-hamburg.de

Panel description

Over the last two decades regions populated primarily by minority ethnic groups have been major targets of anti-poverty policies initiated, for instance, by the Chinese state. Economic integration into the mainstream economy through specialized production (tea, medicinal herbs etc.) or services (tourism) has been regarded as major instrument for local development – and economic exploration of hitherto untouched green pastures. Tourism has also been the major force for local economic development in minority areas in Vietnam Thailand etc.. At the same time recruitment among various remote ethnic groups (in China) and so-called tribals (in India) for industrial labour force participation has increased tremendously both in China and in India.

This panel seeks to identify winners and losers of these processes as well as the structural factors that shape these developments and their repercussions for minority ethnic groups across Asia. The panel aims at comparing processes of economic integration of both ethnic minority areas and ethnic minority people – mainly through local economic development and labour market integration. Central questions that shall ideally be tackled through case studies from various Asian countries: Who are the drivers of local development / labour market integration? In which way do minority ethnic groups profit or suffer from these developments? What are the dominant outcomes, inclusion, development, empowerment or exploitation and perpetuated marginalization?

Contributions are welcome from all disciplinary backgrounds and covering all areas of Asia in the form of single case studies as well as comparative work. Emphasis shall be put on empirical research.

Paper proposal

 
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