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Civilizations in Embrace

The Spread of Ideas and the Transformation of Power; India and Southeast Asia in the Classical Age

by Amitav Acharya

Publication Year: 2012

This study revisits one of the most extensive examples of the spread of ideas in the history of civilization: the diffusion of Indian religious and political ideas to Southeast Asia before the advent of Islam and European colonialism. Hindu and Buddhist concepts and symbols of kingship and statecraft helped to legitimize Southeast Asian rulers, and transform the political institutions and authority of Southeast Asia. But the process of this diffusion was not accompanied by imperialism, political hegemony, or colonization as conventionally understood. This book investigates different explanations of the spread of Indian ideas offered by scholars, including why and how it occurred and what were its key political and institutional outcomes. It challenges the view that strategic competition is a recurring phenomenon when civilizations encounter each other.

Published by: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Cover Page

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p. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-7

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Foreword

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pp. vii-xvi

...are involved with the study of contemporary international relations in Asia. His work on Asian regionalism and particularly that which fame, while his research on international institutions and security time penchant for the study of non-Western modes of international relations has, however, always assumed a high prominence in his ...

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Preface

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pp. viii-19

This study revisits one of the most extensive examples of the spread of ideas in the history of civilization: the diffusion of Indian religious and political ideas to Southeast Asia before the advent of Islam and of kingship and statecraft helped to legitimize Southeast Asian rulers, and transform the political institutions and authority of Southeast ...

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Acknowledgements

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pp. ix-x

The original version of this study was written in 2000–01 when I was a Fellow of the Harvard University Asia Center. It was substantially revised and completed during my visiting Professorial Fellowship at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in 2012. I express my deepest...

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About the Author

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pp. xi-23

Challenges and Governance and Professor of International Relations Washington, D.C. He is also the Chair of the American University’s ASEAN Studies Center. He is the author of The Quest for Identity: International Relations of Southeast Asia (2000); Constructing a Matter: Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism (2009, 2010), and ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-4

...military occupation, nor the labours of missionaries, not even the In considering the imprint of cultural contacts, and the undoubted fact that ideas are imported along with goods, there is a need to develop a more supple language of causal connection than source and imitation, original and copy. The transfer of cultural forms produces ...

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2. Debating Indian Influence in Southeast Asia

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pp. 5-18

...and oldest civilizations, India and china, and its central place to the Middle east and Africa, Southeast Asia has been a region with significant exposure to foreign ideas, culture and concepts “lesser version” of India and China, a receptacle of cultural and political ideas from the two. Paul Wheatley draws attention to the ...

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3. "Indianization", "Localization" or "Convergence"?

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pp. 19-42

...over “Indianization,” a newer perspective accords significant local impact of Indian ideas. It accepts the view that Indian ideas did inspire political change and development in Southeast asia, but this was neither a case of “wholesale transplantation” nor did it acquire the character of a “thin, flaking glaze” (van Leur 1995: 95)....

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4. Understanding How and Why Ideas Spread

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pp. 43-59

...with respect to the diffusion of “ideas,” I have used Goldstein and Keohane’s notion of ideas without adopting their rationalist perspective (Goldstein and Keohane 1993). Goldstein and Keohane present a three-fold typology of ideas: as world views, principled beliefs, and causal beliefs (Goldstein and Keohane 1993: 8–11). World views “define ...

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5. "Hellenization" of the Mediterranean Compared to "Indianization" of Southeast Asia: Two Paradigms of Cultural Diffusion?

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pp. 60-70

...in defending his idea of “Sanskrit cosmopolis,” Sheldon pollock “the labels by which we typically refer to these earlier processes christianization, islamization, russification, and the like — are often used crudely and imprecisely. Yet they do serve to signal the historically significant ways in the past of being translocal, of ...

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6. Final Thoughts

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pp. 71-72

When civilizations encounter each other, they trigger one of the civilizations”. as Peter Katzenstein notes, “Civilizations exist in the plural. They coexist with each other …” (Katzenstein 2010: 2). in this essay, I have challenged the strategic view of the encounter among civilizations, a view initially offered by Samuel Huntington ...

Photo Section [Image Plates]

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pp. 73-76

Bibliography

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pp. 77-84

Index

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pp. 85-88

Titles in the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Research Series

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p. 128-128


E-ISBN-13: 9789814379748
Print-ISBN-13: 9789814379731

Page Count: 88
Publication Year: 2012

Edition: 1

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Southeast Asia -- Politics and government.
  • India -- Relations -- Southeast Asia.
  • Southeast Asia -- Relations -- India.
  • Southeast Asia -- Civilization -- Indic influences.
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