The pivotal importance of migration control in the formation of modern statehood has been well documented. The North Atlantic bias in the literature, however, has been persistent. Alyssa M. Park's book Sovereignty Experiments offers a much-needed correction in this regard, bringing Northeast Asia, maritime Russia, and intracontinental movement in the region to bear on this multidisciplinary comparative scholarship. Based on transnational and multilingual research, it demonstrates how the mobility of Koreans in borderlands in Northeast Asia catalyzed the emergence of modern sovereignty by forcing Chosŏn Korea, Qing China, and czarist Russia to grapple with the relationship between state, territory, and people in new ways.

Readers familiar with the parallel development in Europe and North America1 will encounter similar dynamics: the diffusion of technologies of modern migration governance (e.g., border guards, custom checkpoints, passports, and visas) through competitive coordination between states involved (chapters 3 and 4); the critical role that...

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