Green Books, Blue Books, and Buddhism as Symbols of Belonging in the Tibetan Diaspora: Towards an Anthropology of Fictive Citizenship

  • Abraham Zablocki
Part of the Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship book series (MDC)


The past 60 years have witnessed two remarkable reversals of fortune for Tibetans and their religion. First, in 1951, China ‘liberated’ Tibet; in the years since, the Chinese state has forcefully sought to incorporate Tibetans into the broader Chinese polity, and this has entailed the widespread evisceration or destruction of the religious and political institutions of ‘old’ Tibet. In the years that followed the Dalai Lama’s 1959 escape to India, about 150,000 Tibetans fled into an uncertain South Asian exile, while the millions that remained behind suffered the privations of the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and powerful economic and political pressures to assimilate to the linguistic, cultural, and moral norms of Chinese society. Few who watched these events unfold doubted that the very survival of Tibet’s unique identity was at stake. Indeed, in the years that have followed, despite broad international sympathy for the Tibetans’ plight, the Chinese state has largely succeeded in consolidating its control over Tibet.


Green Book Symbolic Capital Chinese State Blue Book Integrate Development Plan 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Abraham Zablocki 2015

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  • Abraham Zablocki

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