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Terror Capitalism: Uyghur "Reeducation" and the Chinese Security Industrial Complex

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Abstract

Darren Byler, Lecturer, University of Washington - The new system of control that targets Turkic minority populations in Northwest China has widespread implications for how humans experience their own existence, minority-majority social relations, and the expansion of authoritarian forms of capitalist development. This system, which is attempting to transform Uyghur and other Turkic minority societies, is made up of a multi-billion dollar industry of computer-vision technologies, militarized policing, and the mass mobilization of Chinese civil servants and Han industrialists. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Uyghur homeland, this talk describes the history which produced these new forms of surveillance and demonstrates the quotidian experience of their effects in Uyghur society. It argues that this system of "reeducation" is, in fact, a social engineering system that works in concert with a Chinese form of illiberal capitalism. As it is implemented, it has the effect of partitioning and radically disempowering those already marginalized within national and international global systems. It shows that these new automated forms of surveillance, coercive Han-centric education systems, as well as new modes of state-enforced capitalist discipline amplify the power of those who engineer and implement these systems while rapidly disintegrating minority social systems.

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Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into video.

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Cornell East Asia Program

Date Issued

2019-03-11

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East Asia Program, Cornell University

Keywords

China; history; East Asia; Uyghur; Turkic; reeducation

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NAICS

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https://vimeo.com/325022128

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Government Document

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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video/moving image

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Closed captions available

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