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Stalemate: Autonomy and Insurgency on the China-Myanmar Border (Paperback)

Stalemate: Autonomy and Insurgency on the China-Myanmar Border By Andrew Ong Cover Image
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Stalemate reveals the history and contemporary politics of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Asia's strongest insurgent army on Myanmar's border with China. This ethnographic tale recounts how a highland group, often dismissed as rebels or narcotraffickers, maintains a relational autonomy between two powerful lowland states. The Wa polity engages rather than evades these surrounding states, yet struggles to fit into their registers of sovereignty and statehood.

Andrew Ong examines political culture among Wa elites and people, UWSA external relations, and capital flows with neighboring China, showing how Wa autonomy is enacted through careful navigation of complex borderland geopolitics and the shadow economy. He analyzes the seeming stalemate between the Myanmar state and the UWSA as one of tactical dissonance--adopting simultaneous postures of authority and subordination and creating disruptions and connections. Stalemate illuminates how seemingly ambiguous and disorderly practices of political signaling, economic regulation, and military governance produce relative stability, challenging our assumptions about state-like processes at the peripheries.

About the Author

Andrew Ong is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781501770715
ISBN-10: 1501770713
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication Date: June 15th, 2023
Pages: 276
Language: English