The subject of Tibet is highly controversial, and Tibet, as a political entity, is defined differently from source to source and audience to audience. The editors of this pathbreaking, multidisciplinary study have gathered some of the leading scholars in Tibetan and ethnic studies to provide a comprehensive analysis of the Tibet question. Contemporary Tibet explores essential themes and issues concerning modern Tibet. It presents fresh material from various political viewpoints and data from original surveys and field research. The contributors consider such topics as representation and sovereignty, economic development and political conditions, the exile movement and human rights, historical legacies and international politics, identity issues, and the local society. The individual chapters provide historical background as well as a general framework to examine Tibet's present situation in world politics, the relationship with China and the West, and prospects for the future.