Marijn Nieuwenhuis on East Asian territorial and cartographic disputes, at the Antipode site.
by Marijn Nieuwenhuis, University of Warwick
The idea of nationhood rests on the claim of a specific territorial area. The cartographic demarcating of territory automatically exposes, however, the contingent nature of borders. Modern borders are the product of a world system composed of nation states which are not organic unities but socially constructed entities in need of constant affirmation. Nationalism, the modus operandi for that affirmation, often takes a cartographic form. Cartographic nationalism is of all ages but seems in East Asia to have become especially important in post-Mao China.
This short article wishes to offer some insight into the ways in which maps are increasingly being used to arouse nationalist sentiments in East Asia. I do not aspire to explain the reasons for the trend of a rise in nationalism, but instead wish to engage with the manner in which this has become apparent by looking at…
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