Darren Byler is an incoming Assistant Professor of International Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the China Made Project at the Center for Asian Studies, University of Colorado Boulder. He is the author of a forthcoming ethnography titled Terror Capitalism: Uyghur Dispossession and Masculinity in a Chinese City and a narrative-driven book titled In the Camps: China’s High-Tech Penal Colony. His current research interests are focused on infrastructure development and global China in the context of Xinjiang and Malaysia.
Over the past two decades, a rhetoric of terrorism has been used to conflate the criminal actions of a relatively small number of people with the religious and cultural practices of more than 12 million Uyghurs who call the southern part of the Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) their ancestral home. This has had a dramatic […]
A preventative policing system in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has detained as many as 1.5 million Turkic Muslims deemed ‘pre-terrorists’ or ‘extremists’. This essay shows how a counterinsurgency mode of militarism that emerged in the United States, Israel, and Europe, has been adapted as a ‘Xinjiang mode’ of community policing in China. It argues that the scale of detentions and the use of surveillance technology make the ‘Xinjiang mode’ of counterinsurgency unprecedented.