Scholars have long examined the relationship between nation-states and their internal others, such as immigrants and ethracial mirities. Contested Embrace shifts the analytic focus to explore how a state relates to people it views as external members such as emigrants and diasporas. Specifically, Jaeeun Kim analyzes disputes over the belonging of Koreans in Japan and China, focusing on their contested relationship with the colonial and postcolonial states in the Korean peninsula. Extending the constructivist approach to nationalisms and the culturalist view of the modern state to a transnational context, Contested Embrace illuminates the political and bureaucratic construction of eth-national populations beyond the territorial boundary of the state. Through a comparative analysis of transborder membership politics in the colonial, Cold War, and post-Cold War periods, the book shows how the configuration of geopolitics, bureaucratic techniques, and actors' agency shapes the making, unmaking, and remaking of transborder ties. Kim demonstrates that being a homeland state or a member of the transborder nation is a precarious, arduous, and revocable political achievement.
Jaeeun Kim is Assistant Professor of Sociology and the Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Korean Studies at the University of Michigan. Kim was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University from 2012 to 2013.