European-East Asian Borders in Translation: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

European-East Asian Borders in Translation

1st Edition

Edited by Joyce C.H. Liu, Nick Vaughan-Williams


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European-East Asian Borders is an international, trans-disciplinary volume that breaks new ground in the study of borders and bordering practices in global politics. It explores the insights and limitations of border theory developed primarily in the European context to a range of historical and contemporary border-related issues and phenomena in East Asia.

The essays presented here question, rather than assume, the various borders between inclusion/exclusion, here/there, us/them, that condition the (im)possibility of translating between histories, cultures and identities. Contributors suggest that the act of translation offers new ways of thinking about how border logics operate, taking on the concept of translation itself as border problematic and therefore raising questions of power and authority, such as who gets to act as a translator, or who benefits from the outcome.

The book will appeal not only to upper-level students and scholars with a geopolitical-historical interest in East Asia, but also to those who work in the inter-disciplinary field of border studies and others with an interest more generally in translation and the extent to which theory ‘travels’ across time and space.


An outstanding work, particularly owing to the synthesis it provides on European-East Asian scholarship, the application of European philosophers’ writings on sovereignty, power, and security in East Asian geopolitical and historical contexts – all that bound together through tackling translation, translatability, language and communication. Karin Dean, Senior researcher, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Tallinn University, Estonia.

A stimulating intervention for researchers, teachers, and students in the field of critical border theories and bordering practices, European-East Asian Borders in Translation is part of an emerging trend in social sciences and humanities that seeks to de-center and de-territorialise knowledge production beyond Eurocentric/Western-centric theories and experiences. Dr. Ching-Chang Chen, Associate Professor of International Politics, College of Asia Pacific Studies Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Translating Borders, Deconstructing ‘Europe’/’East Asia’, Joyce C. H. Liu and Nick Vaughan-Williams, 1. The Figure of Translation - Translation as a Filter? Naoki Sakai 2. The Taiwan Question: Border Consciousness Intervened, Inverted and Displaced, Joyce C. H. Liu 3. Knowledge Production as ‘Bordering’ Practices: Historical and Political Knowledge in the Discursive Constitution of Taiwanese National Identity, Yih-Jye Hwang 4. Traversing the Dispositif: The Dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands Revisited, Shu-fen Lin 5. Facing the Sea, Becoming the West: The Imagination of Maritime Nation and Discourses of Asia in Japan, Hung Yueh Lan 6. Maritime Borders and Territories: A Topological Space of Exception and the Suspicious Vessel Case in Japan, Hidefumi Nishiyama 7. Translating ‘Unity in Diversity’: The Predicament of Ethnicity in China’s Diaspora Politics, Elena Barabantseva 8. Wayward Great Firewall and China’s Internally Displaced Grievance, Yuan Horng Chu 9. Bordering on the Unacceptable in China and Europe: 'Cao ni ma’ and ‘nique ta mère’, Astrid Nordin

About the Editors

Joyce C.H. Liu is Professor of Cultural Studies, Critical Theory, Psychoanalysis and Comparative Literature in the Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. She is currently the director of the International Institute for Cultural Studies of the University System of Taiwan, a research-let alliance of four universities.

Nick Vaughan-Williams is Reader in International Security at the University of Warwick, UK. His research focuses on the changing nature of borders in contemporary political life and the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of this. He has received funding in support of his research from the British Academy and UK Economic and Social Research Council.

About the Series


The Series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psychoanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 years we have published 60 volumes.

We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, politics and other disciplines and provide situated historical, empirical and textual studies in international politics.


We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors:

  • Jenny Edkins ( and
  • Nick Vaughan-Williams (

‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, "knowledge is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting" In this spirit The Edkins - Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge mainstream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to contribute post disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR's traditional geopolitical imaginary.’

Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General