Ethnic Groups of North, East, and Central Asia
An Encyclopedia
by James B. Minahan
February 2014, 345pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-017-1
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-018-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

There are 56 official and distinct ethnic groups in China alone.

Covering countries ranging from Afghanistan and China to Kazakhstan and Russia, this encyclopedia supplies detailed information and informed perspectives, enabling readers to comprehend Asian ethnic groups as well as Asian politics and history.

Asia is quickly becoming one of the most important regions of the world—culturally, economically, and politically. This work provides encyclopedic coverage of a wide array of Central, North, and East Asian ethnic groups, including those in eastern Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, China, Taiwan, Japan, and the Koreas.

Arranged alphabetically by ethnic group, each entry provides an overview of the group that identifies its major population centers and population, primary languages and religions, parallels with other groups, origins and early development, major historic events, and cultural belief systems. Information on each group’s typical ways of life, relations with neighboring groups, politics and recent history, notable challenges, demographic trends, and key figures is also included.

Special attention is focused on the numerous ethnic groups that make up China, one of the world’s most populated countries. Sidebars throughout the text provide fascinating facts and information about specific groups to make the encyclopedia more accessible and appealing, while “Further Reading” sections at the end of each entry and the bibliography will provide ample additional resources for students performing in-depth research.


  • Provides readers with an understanding of Asia's many ethnic minorities, enabling a fuller comprehension of contemporary politics and economics in Asia and beyond
  • Presents information written in a clear, engaging, and accessible tone that is ideal for high school and undergraduate students as well as other readers with limited background knowledge about Asian ethnicities
James B. Minahan is an independent scholar who has written a number of reference books on international statehood and identity, including ABC-CLIO's Ethnic Groups of South Asia and the Pacific: An Encyclopedia and The Former Soviet Union's Diverse Peoples: A Reference Sourcebook as well as Greenwood's Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: Ethnic and National Groups Around the World.


"There is a lot of information to be gained from this title and it is recommended for school and undergraduate libraries."—ARBA, April 1, 2014
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