The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies <p>The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies (CJAS) is a refereed academic journal. It focuses on the socio-cultural, political and economic transformations of contemporary Asia.</p> Copenhagen Business School Library en-US The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 1395-4199 Subjectivities of Russian Traders at the Border with China <p>This paper draws attention to a relatively understudied aspect of cross-border trade: the relation between the subjectivities of traders and the geo-political situation they find themselves in. Among Russian traders at the border with China, discourses on comparative civilisation, memories of mid-twentieth century Soviet dominance and ambivalent appreciation of China’s present riches are integral to everyday practices. It is argued that a theoretical concept of melancholia is helpful to understand the traders’ self-reflective and diverse reactions. At this highly securitised border, in the absence of deep social relations with Chinese partners, the goods purchased, consumed and traded appear as vivid alternative foci for emotions. The article suggests that an anthropological approach to <em>qualia</em> (experiential feelings aroused by material objects) provide a useful heuristic for discussion in this situation.</p> Caroline Humphrey Copyright (c) 2021 2021-03-31 2021-03-31 39 1 10.22439/cjas.v39i1.6177 Urban Hopes, Sexual Horrors <p>Academic discussions of women and the eruption of urban riots in India focus on a range of women’s testimonies. From this perspective, Hindu women who belong to prominent and powerful right-wing organisations demonstrate religious and physical prowess, while minority and unprotected Muslim women are victims during outbreaks of communal violence. This article aims, if not to undermine, but to unsettle these gendered binaries in women’s experiences as victims or perpetrators of urban violence. We suggest that poor women on both sides of exclusionary propaganda and nationalistic discourses experience the actual violent eruption of hostilities as personal suffering and collective loss. Our analysis highlights how these experiences are intimately related to women’s domestic and family relations, bereavement, mobility, their peripheral socio-economic position, anxieties about the integrity of female bodies, etc., over and above women’s disillusionment with the state, secular and faith-based organisations.</p> Atreyee Sen Rubina Jasani Copyright (c) 2021 The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 2021-03-31 2021-03-31 39 1 10.22439/cjas.v39i1.6176 ‘Ghost Accounts’, ‘Joki Accounts’ and ‘Account Therapy’ <p>This article shows how motorcycle taxi drivers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia deal with labour insecurity, tighter competition, minimum social welfare, decreased tariff and bonuses and longer working hours. The article finds that drivers employ diverse strategies to obtain more orders and therefore also more income. Drivers use prohibited mobile application-based technologies, which resemble those of their platforms, as well as non-technological strategies to boost their account’s performance. The article argues that whereas these prohibited practices can be understood as everyday resistance (Scott 1985), as oppositional acts against the holders of power and capital, they are also pragmatic survival tactics. Furthermore, the article shows that although the drivers’ resistance is individual, their knowledge and strategies are sourced and shared collectively through social media platforms. Being widely distributed between drivers and commonly applied by drivers, these strategies have nonetheless not been able to transform driver-company relationships in any significant way.</p> Wening Mustika Amalinda Savirani Copyright (c) 2021 The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 2021-03-31 2021-03-31 39 1 10.22439/cjas.v39i1.6175 Central Asia Rail Development <p>Rail transport between China and Europe via Central Asia has become a popular example of practical economic development possible under China’s <em>Belt and Road Initiative</em>. However, the actual significance of rail transport between China and Europe or China and the Central Asian countries remains limited. China’s contribution to the development of rail infrastructure in Central Asia has been overrated. Intra-regional concerns were dominant drivers for Central Asian rail development immediately after independence, and the post-Soviet development history of the Central Asian rail network demonstrates that both the European Union and Russia have had more influence on financing and developing regional transport corridors than China. Ultimately, we find that China’s BRI investment model has had a negligible impact on Central Asian transport infrastructure development or rail freight volumes.</p> Péter Bucsky Tristan Kenderdine Copyright (c) 2021-03-31 2021-03-31 39 1 Jenny Chan, Mark Selden and Ngai Pun, Dying for an iPhone. London: Pluto Press, 2020. 273 pp. ISBN 9780745341293 Dan Hirslund Copyright (c) 2021-03-31 2021-03-31 39 1 88 93 10.22439/cjas.v39i1.6246