The straight dope on Tibet?
April 8, 2008 6:54 PM   Subscribe

Looking for authors/forums/sources with scholarly discussion of the Tibet situation.

Specifically, I'm hoping for point-by-point analysis of the claims made by both China and the Dalai Lama, and the rational weighing of argument against counter-argument by subject experts on both sides.

After spending many hours with Google, the only thing clear to me is that most media sources (Western and Chinese) have such heavy biases that taken together they present disjoint realities. The net effect is that I don't believe anybody anymore.

[and please refrain from chatfilter - I'm looking for expert sources, not opinions (unless you happen to be an expert)]
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Foreign Policy has a web-exclusive article called "Seven Questions: What Tibetans Want" that might be useful to you.
posted by amyms at 7:16 PM on April 8, 2008

Response by poster: Would you want someone who is an expert in sino-tibetan relations, or someone with deep knowledge of separatist movements?

Both, preferably. More = better, so long as the opinions are informed and not just based on whatever the BBC or Xinhua said last week.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 7:27 PM on April 8, 2008

It's going to be hard to find scholarly articles yet. Most good academics would probably want to spend some more time studying the situation before they write serious analysis on it.

But I would focus on finding magazine articles in publications like Foreign Affairs and the Far Eastern Economic Review, that might have some more in-depth perspectives than the regular newspapers. They also do forums and online commentary, where you might find some additional perspectives.

The various Washington, D.C. thinktanks have all done pieces on Tibet as well - although you will find bias there too, of course. Try to balance the Heritage Foundation with Brookings, with the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Wilson Center, and you will get a very broad view of what Asia analysts - who spend their days pondering these issues - are saying.

Try also the recent Congressional Research Service report on China, which covers this issue as well. There was a PBS NewsHour segment on Tibet that was good also, and the participants later took questions.
posted by gemmy at 9:27 PM on April 8, 2008

There's a great book called Dragon in the Land of Snows:A Modern History of Tibet, which is the closest there is to an academic, scholarly look at the subject. I own it and highly recommend it.
posted by waylaid at 10:22 PM on April 8, 2008

Those media sources are giving you material for you to begin to weigh the argument.
Don't know if you've searched these, but that's what I have to suggest in case you may have missed them.

There's English Al Jazeera.
St. Peterburg Times, English, not controlled by Putin er, I mean Medvedev.
And Canada Tibet Committee.
posted by alicesshoe at 11:14 PM on April 8, 2008

Best answer: Consider also Peter Hessler's Tibet Through Chinese Eyes.
posted by megatherium at 3:36 AM on April 9, 2008

Fragile China: Beijing struggles with unrest in Tibet.
From today's Daily Standard, by Gordon Chang (who wrote "The Coming Collapse of China").
posted by gemmy at 8:30 AM on April 10, 2008

Wang Lixiong's essay Reflections on Tibet is available online.
posted by klue at 3:37 PM on April 11, 2008

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