A Network Approach to the Study of the World Uyghur Congress’ Global Outreach: A Methodological Note

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This methodological note is to introduce new social network analysis (SNA) data sets that can be used to visualize and analyze the global linkages of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC). The results show that first of all, the WUC and Rebiya Kadeer play central roles in mobilizing political activity around the globe. Second, human rights NGOs and other organizations from the Uyghur diaspora pervade the networks of the WUC, and are spearheading the coordination of events and the exchange of information. Third, the WUC is keen on connecting with government representatives and journalists. Fourth, a growing number of links exist between the WUC and news organizations. Such links are most obvious among news organizations situated within the same country, when a Uyghur-related event occurs. A quintessential example is observed in the SNA map, where Japanese press and media showed interest in reporting Uyghur news when WUC Secretary General Dolkun Isa visited Japan to promote the Uyghur issue in 2006. A case study of Uyghur linkages in Australia further demonstrates WUC influence over Uyghur activism in various corners of the world. The purpose of this paper is not only to provide the first visualization and empirical test in regard to WUC networks that China's government and various China observers have believed to exist. With this document, I also demonstrate how a network approach can provide alternate ways for researchers to conduct their respective studies on diasporic networks of Tibetans, Taiwanese, or Chinese.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chinese Political Science
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)77-88
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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