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Religion and identity, key aspects of the Tibet conflict (DIEEEO64-2017)

The goal of this project is to analyze in detail the importance of religion as a key factor in the conflict of Tibet. A lot has been written in regards to the international recognition of Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s exile, human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government, and the importance of Tibet as an strategic location to access water and other natural resources. In comparison to these aspects, religion as a key factor in the conflict of Tibet has only been taken into consideration to a limited extent. As it often happens in the analysis of international conflicts, religion only gets a limited coverage in said analysis. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the classic theories within the field of diplomacy and international relations, such as realism, mainly took into account the importance of sovereign states and their interests in the international arena. Thus, little importance was given to the relevance of other secondary actors other than the State. Following the capitulation of the Cold War, and especially after the events of September 11, religion has made its comeback as a key factor of great interest in any issue related to geopolitics, security, diplomacy etc. The role played by Buddhism as a form of resistance against Chinese hegemony is yet another example of this tendency. Religion has always been an identity-related factor, for better or for worse, in unification or division between different tribal groups.

Author: Pablo Márquez de la Plata Valverde


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Religion and identity, key aspects of the Tibet conflict
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