Briefing Release | TGAP Process Explores Multilevel Governance as a Framework for Tibet Policy Dialogue

The Tibet Governance Project at the Elliott School of International Affairs hosted the 7th round of meetings of the Tibet Governance and Practice (TGAP) process from November 12-17, 2014.

The objective of the November round of meetings was to engage Chinese State Council policy researchers from Beijing in an exploratory discussion about “multilevel governance” as a framework for research exchange and policy dialogue on Tibet in the next phase of the TGAP process.

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The meetings included joint TGAP briefings to US China studies faculty convened at the Harvard Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies in Cambridge; the Yale China Law Center in New Haven; and at the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York.

The TGAP Seminar on Multilevel Governance and Tibet Policy Research, convened at the Institute for Global and International Studies at George Washington University, engaged scholars of governance and political studies from Québec in an intensive discussion about the theory and practice of multilevel governance in comparative national, subnational and federal contexts.

The 2014 TGAP meetings indicated a common interest shared by Chinese and Tibetan policy researchers in exploring a research agenda for dialogue on macro-level governance and policy issues in Tibet.

As such, the 7th round of meetings marked a milestone in the TGAP process by advancing a shared stake in dialogue not just about particular substantive areas of policy research, but about comparative policy issues pertaining to systems and patterns of governance itself.

The TGAP initiative is a research exchange and dialogue process that advances knowledge and understanding of governance challenges in contemporary Tibet.  Now in its eighth year, the TGAP process convenes scholars, researchers and practitioners in a cross-disciplinary discussion of key policy issues shaping the region.

In particular, the TGAP process provides a unique platform for Tibetan civic leaders and policy advocates from inside Tibet to discuss policy issues directly with national-level policy research institutions.

Since its inception in 2008, the TGAP process has held meetings involving Chinese and Tibetan policy researchers in Charlottesville (2009); Oslo (2010); Beijing (2011); Québec (2012); Shanghai (2013); and Washington DC (2014).

For more information, visit

Economic Studies of Tibet Series | Upcoming Events


Economic Studies of Tibet Series of the Tibet Governance Project welcomes:


Associate Professor of Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Public Lecture on Thursday April 9, 2015

Workshop on Employment on Friday April 10, 2015

Film Screening:  Yartsa Rinpoche on Friday April 10, 2015

For more details,


Economic Perspectives on Development in Tibet:  Effects of Subsidization under the Hu-Wen Administration

Thursday, April 9, 2015

5pm – 6:30pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW Room 214
Washington, DC 20052

Click here to RSVP


Preferential Practices and Employment in Tibet:  
A Study of the Dynamics of Public Employment and Tibetan-Medium Education

Dr. Andrew M. Fischer
Associate Professor of Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Moderator:  Dr. Tashi Rabgey, Research Professor of International Affairs

Friday, April 10, 2015

3pm – 5pm

Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW, Room 308
Washington, DC 20052

Click here to RSVP


7c36395e-25cf-492f-8cc0-7b1074471920“Yartsa Rinpoche, The Precious Caterpillar”

Friday, April 10, 2015


Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW, Room B12
Washington, DC 20052

Directed by Dorje Tsering Chenaktsang. Cordyceps sinensis (in Tibetan, Yartsa-gunbu) has been called “Tibet’s golden worm” and “The Viagra of the Himalayas.” When it was discovered 30 years ago as a natural remedy, it became a boon to Tibetan nomads. Today, some nomadic Tibetan communities bring in as much as 80% of their income collecting it. Yartsa Rinpoche follows Darlo, an elder in the Amdo region, who with his family forms a group of 30 that treks 800 kilometers to collect the “worm,” while exploring its larger implications. In Tibetan; English subtitles. 101 min.

showphoto.viewDr. Andrew Fischer is a leading specialist on the economics of contemporary Tibet. He is currently a convener of the MA in Social Policy for Development at Institute for Social Studies, in which he leads teaching on poverty studies, population, social policy, inclusive development, and development economics. A development economist by training, he has been involved in researching in development studies or in developing countries for over twenty-five years. Beyond his regional specialization on Tibet, he has also dealt with inclusive development strategies to combat poverty, inequality, and social exclusion in both China and India. A major focus of his current research are the challenges of redistribution in contemporary development. He has published widely on subjects related to China’s development and on the international development agenda more generally. He earned a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and an MA in Economics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Co-sponsored by the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Machik
The Tibet Governance Project advances scholarship, research, and new perspectives on key issues of governance and public policy in contemporary Tibet. The program promotes research initiatives and program activities that produce fresh insights, analyses, and approaches to understanding the social, economic and institutional challenges confronting the Tibetan region.

Film Screening: Crisis of Tibetan Language Loss and Khashem Gyal’s Valley of Heroes

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Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014

Venue: Elliott School of International Affairs, Room 113, 1957 E Street NW

Valley of Heroes is a feature-length ethnographic film documenting language and cultural loss in a Tibetan community  of Amdo in north-eastern Tibet (Qinghai). Over the past decades, Tibetans living in Hualong County (དཔའ་བོའི་ལུང་པ་) have experienced rapid cultural shifts and accelerated language loss.  Today a third of the population are unable to speak their native language. The film spends time with an assortment of village residents and elders who reflect on the changes taking place in their community, and also documents a unique Tibetan language program that is attempting to address the situation. Valley of Heroes offers a rare and thought-provoking glimpse into a Tibetan society caught in the midst of a painful and complex cultural transition.  

About the Director
Khashem Gyal is a graduate of Qinghai Nationalities University. He is the founder of the Amilolo Film Group, a film group dedicated to educating young Tibetans about digital video production and supporting a new generation of Tibetan filmmakers. He is also a core member of Plateau Photographers.  Khashem Gyal has directed numerous short films about Tibetan life and culture. Valley of Heroes is his first full-length documentary film. Khashem Gyal is currently in Washington DC as a Machik Fellow.

Lecture at Sichuan University on Governance Paradigm

On April 23, Dr. Tashi Rabgey was a guest lecturer at Sichuan University’s Center for China’s Western Frontier Security, Development and Cooperative Innovation. Faculty and students participated in her talk on “Development of Governance as a New Paradigm for Social and Political Organization: From Theory to Practice in Comparative Context.” Dr. Rabgey’s presentation discussed governance as a framework for the Tibet issue in the context of comparative fieldwork in Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq and the Karen State of Burma. Read the rest of this entry »

Governance of Conservation and Biodiversity in the Tibetan Region

Ethan Golding, Tibet specialist and director of Winrock International in China

Ethan Golding, Tibet specialist and director of Winrock International in the PRC

Seminar on Governance of Conservation and Biodiversity in the Tibetan Region

February 12, 2014

Ethan Golding is a Tibet specialist and Director of Winrock International in the PRC.  Now based in Chengdu, he was trained in East Asian studies at Harvard and Stanford and first traveled to Tibet in 1983.

Blogpost by Tenzin Tekan

In his recent seminar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Ethan Golding, director of Winrock International in the PRC, raised the question:  how can dynamism in conservation and biodiversity in the Tibetan region be strengthened? Read the rest of this entry »

Rethinking the Sino-Tibetan Frontier

tenzin jinba pic

Dr. Tenzin Jinba, Lanzhou University – Washington DC, February 2014

Seminar on Gender, Identity Politics and State-Society Relations on the Sino-Tibetan Frontier

February 3, 2014

Dr. Tenzin Jinba, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Lanzhou University, Gansu province; Postdoctoral candidate, Yale University

Review by Dr. Tashi Rabgey

During a fieldtrip in 2010 to study language policy in eastern Tibet, I took the opportunity to travel to Gyarong, a land fabled among Tibetans for its distinctive linguistic traits and cultural character.  There, as promised, I was duly struck by the extraordinary features of the Gyarong local world.  The language, for instance, would take deliberate study and effort to Read the rest of this entry »

Multilingual Proficiency and Employment Opportunities for Tibetans: Case Study of Rebgong

Multilingual Proficiency and Employment Opportunities for Tibetans: Case Study of Rebgong

Yumkyi Dolma is a graduate student at the Central Minzu University in Beijing who specializes in education. She has conducted fieldwork on the impact of multilingual education in the northeastern region of Amdo (Qinghai province).  She discussed her ongoing and prospective research on the relationship between multilingual proficiency and employment opportunities for Tibetans in the county of Rebgong (Tongren).  She is currently completing a visiting fellowship at the University of Maryland where she focused her studies on sociolinguistics.

Read the rest of this entry »


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