The first chapter introduces the issue topic and presents a set of research questions for the study. It then discusses briefly the argument of the book, its methodology, as well as the structure of the book. Specifically, it points out that this book is a comparative historical account of the state and nation-building process in an “organic” upland area that shares lots of similarities in terms of geography and ethnic diversity, yet has become increasingly incorporated into a set of neighboring modern states. Departing from existing approaches that look at such processes mainly from the angle of singular, bounded territorial states, the book argues that a more fruitful approach is to see how state and nation building in one country can influence, and be influenced by, the same processes across borders.
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