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Nationalism and Globalization

East and West

Leo Suryadinata

Nationalism and globalization are two major contradicting forces in the world today. The roles that these two forces play and the impact of globalization on countries differ. Both Western and Asian "nation-states" have faced the challenge of globalization in recent decades, and the challenge has become more intense since the 1990s. The decline of communism and socialism as ideologies, and the decreasing importance of national boundaries for capital, companies and even labour, have had profound implications for national identity. Thus, the impact of globalization on "nation-states" is not identical. How have "nation-states" coped with globalization? Has it led to stronger nationalism or national disintegration? What has happened to national identity? Is the concept of "nation" still relevant in the era of globalization? To answer these questions, twelve countries -- six from the West (France, UK, USA, Yugoslavia, Australia, and Russia) and six from Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, China, and India) have been selected for study. These countries represent a wide range of national experiences — from "old" states to "new" states, from mono-ethnic nations to multi-ethnic ones, and from surviving nation-states to decaying ones. Apart from the individual country studies, the last chapter summarizes and compares the findings of these country studies, throwing light on the various types of nationalism, and the gains and losses of these countries in the process of globalization.

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New Perspectives and Research on Malaysian History

Cheah Boon Kheng

Historiography is both the study of the writing of history, and the history of historical writings. The book deals with the current research interests, methods, thinking and trends in Malaysian historical writing. The individual essays focus not only on new historical sources and methodologies, but also on debates between different schools of Malaysian historians on conceptual issues and on ways to reconstruct the Malaysian past. For a long time the primary object of Malaysian historical studies has been the nation-state, but some of the historians in this volume now argue that local history, social history, economic history, and the role of women, minorities and marginalized groups like trishaw riders are equally important concerns within Malaysia's socially diverse and multi-ethnic society. The essays also discuss challenges Malaysian historians face from new movements like post-modernism in representing historical truth and objectivity. This book should be of interest not only to students of Malaysian history, but also to the general reader.

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No Man's Land

Globalization, Territory, and Clandestine Groups in Southeast Asia

The increased ability of clandestine groups to operate with little regard for borders or geography is often taken to be one of the dark consequences of a brave new globalized world. Yet even for terrorists and smugglers, the world is not flat; states exert formidable control over the technologies of globalization, and difficult terrain poses many of the same problems today as it has throughout human history.

In No Man's Land, Justin V. Hastings examines the complex relationship that illicit groups have with modern technology-and how and when geography still matters. Based on often difficult fieldwork in Southeast Asia, Hastings traces the logistics networks, command and control structures, and training programs of three distinct clandestine organizations: the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah, the insurgent Free Aceh Movement, and organized criminals in the form of smugglers and maritime pirates. Hastings also compares the experiences of these groups to others outside Southeast Asia, including al-Qaeda, the Tamil Tigers, and the Somali pirates.

Through reportage, memoirs, government archives, interrogation documents, and interviews with people on both sides of the law, he finds that despite their differences, these organizations are constrained and shaped by territory and technology in similar ways. In remote or hostile environments, where access to the infrastructure of globalization is limited, clandestine groups must set up their own costly alternatives. Even when successful, Hastings concludes, criminal, insurgent and terrorist organizations are not nearly as mobile as pessimistic views of the sinister side of globalization might suggest.

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Of Palm Wine, Women and War

The Mongolian Naval Expedition to Java in the 13th Century

by David Bade

What would a history that put women at the centre of the rise and fall of kingdoms be like? When the armies of Khubilai arrived on Java in 1293, they found themselves in the middle of two warring states. Two historical traditions developed concerning the ensuing events: the official Chinese dynastic records in which no women are mentioned, and a number of Javanese histories and poems in which everything depends upon the actions and fates of certain women. The Chinese account has long been regarded as factual, whilst the Javanese versions have been dismissed as mere romance, their women stereotypical representations of male fantasies. But what happens if the women and the narratives about them are taken seriously rather than dismissed? Of Palm Wine, Women and War offers just such a reading.

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Offshore Asia

Maritime Interactions in Eastern Asia before Steamships

This exemplary work of international collaboration takes a comparative approach to the histories of Northeast and Southeast Asia, with contributions from scholars from Japan, Korea and the English-speaking academic world. The new scholarship represented by this volume demonstrates that the vast and growing commercial interactions between the countries of eastern Asia have long historical roots. The so-called “opening” to Western trade in the mid-nineteenth century, which is typically seen as the beginning of this process, is shown to be rather the reversal of a relatively temporary phase of state consolidation in the long eighteenth century.

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The Open Door

Early Modern Wajorese Statecraft and Diaspora

Kathryn Anderson Wellen

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The OSS in Burma

Jungle War against the Japanese

A vivid and fascinating account an OSS detachment's evolution from small scale operations to an effective organization operating a major guerilla war behind Japanese lines in Burma.

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The Pearl Frontier

Indonesian Labor and Indigenous Encounters in Australia's Northern Trading Network

Julia Martínez and Adrian Vickers

Remarkable for its meticulous archival research and moving life stories, The Pearl Frontier offers a new way of imagining Australian historical connections with Indonesia. This compelling view of maritime mobility demonstrates how, in the colonial quest for the valuable pearl-shell, Australians came to rely on the skill and labor of Indonesian islanders, drawing them into their northern pearling trade empire. From the 1860s onwards the pearl-shell industry developed alongside British colonial conquests across Australia’s northern coast and prompted the Dutch to consolidate their hold over the Netherlands East Indies. Inspired by tales of pirates and priceless pearls, the pearl frontier witnessed the maritime equivalent of a gold rush; with traders, entrepreneurs, and willing workers coming from across the globe. But like so many other frontier zones it soon became notorious for its reliance on slave-like conditions for indigenous and Indonesian workers. These allegations prompted the imposition of a strict regime of indentured labor migration that was to last for almost a century before giving way to international criticism in the era of decolonization. The Pearl Frontier reveals how Asian migration and the struggle against the restrictive White Australia policy left a rich legacy of mixed Asian-Indigenous heritage that lives on along Australia’s northern coastline.

Instead of the mythologies of racial purity, propagated by settler colonies and European empires, the authors dissect the social and economic life of the port cities around the Australian- Indonesian maritime zone and lay open the complex, cosmopolitan relationships that shaped their histories and their present situations.

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Pirates, Ports, and Coasts in Asia

Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

John Kleinen and Manon Osseweijer

Pirates, Ports and Coasts in Asia aims to fill in some of the historical gaps in the coverage of maritime piracy and armed robbery in Asia. The authors highlight a variety of activities ranging from raiding, destroying and pillaging coastal villages and capturing inhabitants to attacking and taking over vessels, robbing and then trading the cargo and its people. Generally speaking, what connects these activities is the fact that they are carried out at sea, often in the coastal inshore waters, by vessels attacking other vessels or raiding coastal settlements. Acts of maritime piracy cannot be regarded as being located outside the relevant framework of the coastal zone. Coastal zones have therefore become highly desirable places, a circumstance which has transformed them into places subject to great social and ecological pressures. Piracy being the most dramatic of marginal(ized) maritime livelihood, this book brings the relationship between pirates, ports, and coastal hinterlands into focus.

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Places for Happiness

Community, Self, and Performance in the Philippines

William Peterson

Places for Happiness explores two of the most important performance-based activities in the Philippines: the processions and Passion Plays associated with Easter and the mass-dance phenomenon known as "street dancing." The scale of these hand-crafted performances in terms of duration, time commitment, and productive labor marks the Philippines as one of the world's most significant and undervalued performance-centered cultures. Drawing on a decade of fieldwork, William Peterson examines how people come together in the streets or on temporary stages, celebrating a shared sense of community and creating places for happiness.


The first half of the book focuses on localized and often highly idiosyncratic versions of the Passion of Christ. Peterson considers not only what people do in these events, but what it feels like to participate. The book's second half provides a window into the many expressions of "street dancing." Street dancing is inflected by localized indigenous and folk dance traditions that are reinforced at school and practiced in conjunction with religious civic festivals. Peterson identifies key frames that shape and contain the individual in the Philippines, while tracking how the local expands its expressive home by engaging in a dialogue with regional, national, and diasporic Filipino imaginaries.


Ultimately Places for Happiness explores how community-based performance responds to and fulfills basic human needs. Many Filipinos rely on family members and immediate neighbors for support and sustenance, and community-based performance assumes a unique and leading role in defining, reinforcing, and celebrating shared belief systems. By bringing forth the internal, phenomenological, and embodied aspects of a range of community-based practices contributing to human happiness, the book offers a cultural framework that interweaves the individual experience with that of the collective, plotting out what resides inside the body through the coordinates of culture.

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