Sarah Tynen holds her PhD in Human Geography from University of Colorado Boulder. She lived in China for a total of five years from 2009-2017 and in Xinjiang for two of those years. Her research focuses on state-building, nationalism, and ethnic conflict in Asia. Her ultimate goal is to better understand how we can create more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable communities. To do so, she looks at China in a global context and the effects of development projects, territorial sovereignty, and authoritarian state-building. Her publications have appeared in Territory, Politics, and Governance, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Space and Culture, Geographical Review, and Geopolitics, among others.

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