China, Xinjiang and Central Asia: History, Transition and Crossborder Interaction into the 21st Century (2011)

Edited by Colin Mackerras and Michael Clarke


Central Asia and Xinjiang – the far north-western province of China – are of increasing international importance. The United States, having established military bases in Central Asia after September 2001, has now become a force in what was previously predominantly a Russian sphere of influence; whilst China, Russia and Iran all continue to exert strong influence. These external, international influences have had a significant impact on local politics, with the overthrow of a long-standing regime in Kyrgyzstan, continued unrest and opposition to the current regime in Uzbekistan and the intensification of Chinese control in Xinjiang.

This book explores the effect of global and local dynamics across the region: global influences include the ‘War on Terror’ and international competition for energy resources; local dynamics include Islamic revival, Central Asian nationalism, drugs trafficking; economic development and integration. The authors argue that these multiple challenges, in fact, unite Xinjiang and Central Asia in a common struggle for identities and economic development.

This book provides a comprehensive overview of the region’s historical significance, the contemporary international forces which affect the region, and of current political, economic and cultural developments.


  1. China, Xinjiang and Central Asia – ‘glocality’ in the year 2008. Donald H. McMillen
  2. The ‘centrality’ of Central Asia in World History, 1700–2007: From pivot to periphery and back again? Michael Clarke
  3. Positioning Xinjiang in Eurasian and Chinese History: Differing visions of the ‘Silk Road’. James A. Millward
  4. ‘Failed States’ on the ‘Perilous Frontier’: Historical bases of state formation in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Geoff Watson
  5. Xinjiang and Central Asia: Interdependency – not integration. Ann McMillan
  6. Uyghurs in the Central Asian republics: past and present. Ablet Kamalov
  7. Xinjiang and Central Asia since 1990: views from Beijing and Washington and Sino-American Relations. Colin Mackerras
  8. Central Asia’s domestic stability in official Russian security thinking under Yeltsin and Putin: from Hegemony to Multilateral Pragmatism. Kirill Nourzhanov
  9. ‘Glocality’, ‘Silk Roads’ and new and little ‘great games’ in Xinjiang and Central Asia. Michael Clarke

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