MASIA Students Awarded by Center for Security Studies

Two M.A. in Asian Studies students, Zi Yang and Rachel Blomquist (both MASIA '16) were gifted challenge coins after presenting their papers at the Graduate Student Symposium this weekend. Yang wrote his paper on "State-regulated Islam and its Internal Security Implications for China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region" and Blomquist covered the topic of "Ethno-Demographic Dynamics of the Rohingya-Buddhist Conflict."

The Center for Security Studies at the School of Foreign Service hosted its inaugural Graduate Student Symposium, entitled "The Changing Calculus of Security and Violence," on Saturday, November 21, 2015. This special event featured graduate students from across the School of Foreign Service, as well as noted counterterrorism scholar and Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies Dr. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross as the keynote Lunch presenter.

You can read both Zi and Rachel's papers in the latest issue of Georgetown Securities Study Review published by the Center for Security Studies.

"Ethno-Demographic Dynamics of the Rohingya-Buddhist Conflict" abstract by Rachel Blomquist.

Ethno-demographic grievances define the conflict between Buddhist and Rohingya-Muslim populations in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. Nationalistic Buddhist leaders, such as the controversial monk Ashin Wirathu, maintain that the Rohingya population’s rapid growth and high fertility rates threaten to overtake local Buddhist populations. This study seeks to identify quantitative and qualitative differences between the Rohingya and Buddhist populations in Rakhine State and to elucidate the theoretical and practical implications for Buddhist-Rohingya relations. Due to the government’s decision to avoid enumeration of self-identifying Rohingya, this study has relied on several recent local surveys to reconstruct a local demographic description of the Rohingya. The “Minority Demographic Security Dilemma” theory, which specifies expectations for minority-majority conflicts and their resolution, will be used to discuss the relevant forces that underlie the Buddhist-Rohingya conflict.

"State-regulated Islam and its Internal Security Implications for China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region" abstract by Zi Yang.

Adherence to Islam is the primary identity of Xinjiang’s Turkic-speaking Muslims, yet its popularity is also a source of concern for China as led by the Communist Party. This paper examines how the state regulates Islam in Xinjiang and why it continues to maintain a strict control of Islamic affairs in the Autonomous Region even when this form of regulation antagonizes the Muslim population—the 10.7 million strong Uyghurs in particular—and exacerbates the security environment.