This article analyses the internal dynamics of identity in one particular settlement which is scrutinised with regard to the nation-building efforts of the Kyrgyz state. The inhabitants have a number of choices from ethnic concepts for their identification processes, depending on their actual situatedness. Jan Blommaert’s approach focusing on “loaded words” and “intertextual asymmetries” has been used as a practical tool to organize the ethnography and to analyse conversations. The article shows how ethnic categories have been understood and used by villagers in everyday life, i.e.
Although Kachin resistance against the Burmese/Myanmar state has continued since the 1960s, in 1948 the Kachin were enthusiastic supporters of the Panglung Agreement and the Union of Burma. The article traces the development and treatment of the Kachin areas since British colonisation and shows how the foundations of the current situation were laid in the early decades of the twentieth century.
In Competitive Nation-Building in Timor-Leste Andre Borgerhoff examines Timor-Leste in the period 2002–2007 during which political and social division brought the new state to near collapse. He argues that the crisis of this period was associated with the inherently contested nature of nation-building, and this was exemplified by what he identifies as the language tetralemma. His work builds upon literature which argues that nation building, language policy and national identity are fundamental factors which are closely associated with ongoing violence in post-conflict states.