In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the region of Liangshan in southwest China was plagued by violence. Indigenous Nuosu communities clashed with Han migrants, the Qing and Republican states, and local warlords. The first English-language history of Liangshan, A Frontier Made Lawless challenges the view that ongoing violence was the result of population pressures, opium production, and the growth of local paramilitary groups. Instead, Joseph Lawson argues that the conflict resulted from the lack of a common framework for dealing with property disputes, compounded by the repeated destabilization of the region by turmoil elsewhere in China.
About the author
Joseph Lawson is a lecturer in Chinese history at Newcastle University. He is the editor and translator of Mao Haijian’s The Qing Empire and the Opium War.