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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Website: http://www.iseas.edu.sg/

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies is a regional research centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment. The aim of the Institute is to nurture a community of scholars interested in the region and to engage in research on the multi-faceted dimensions and issues of stability and security, economic development, and political, social and cultural change. The intention is not only to stimulate research and debate within scholarly circles , but also to enhance public awareness of the region and facilitate the search for viable solutions to the varied problems confronting the region. In a world increasingly dominated by the forces of globalization and regionalization, networking has become an imperative. The Institute is strategically placed to assist international, regional and local scholars and other researchers in this networking process by serving as a centre that provides a congenial and stimulating intellectual environment, encouraging the fullest interaction and exchange of ideas in an unfettered ambience. ISEAS is dedicated to long-term reflective analysis and investigations in the best traditions of scholarship. The Institute also seeks to stimulate thinking on and exploring solutions to some of the major salient issues in the region. To achieve these aims, the Institute conducts a range of research programmes; holds conferences, workshops, lectures and seminars; publishes research journals and books; and generally provides a range of research support facilities, including a large library collection.


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Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

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China and Southeast Asia Cover

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China and Southeast Asia

Global Changes and Regional Challenges

Ho Khai Leong and Samuel C Y Ku

The relations between ASEAN and China occupy a unique and important position in the foreign relations of the Asia-Pacific region. China and Southeast Asia’s political, strategic and economic importance in the realm of international relations has been transformed by the region’s unprecedented economic growth, unexpected financial crisis, and turbulent political changes. This volume investigates the impacts of global changes and regional challenges confronting the contemporary developments of China–ASEAN relations. Topics include: changes in strategic perceptions, the economic challenges and legal considerations of the China-ASEAN FTA in the context of a multilateral trading system, the role of “East Asia”, non-traditional security issues, prospects of regionalism, China-Taiwan-ASEAN triangular relations, and Malaysia’s and Singapore’s diplomatic engagement with China. It offers authoritative arguments and a rich collection of ideas for policy-makers and interested readers to mull over.

China and Taiwan Cover

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China and Taiwan

Cross-Strait Relations Under Chen Shui-bian

Sheng Lijun

In Taiwan's 18 March 2000 presidential election, the Kuomintang (KMT) government was defeated, for the first time after fifty-five years in power, by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Chen Shui-bian's election victory has significantly changed and further complicated the political and strategic scenarios across the Taiwan Strait. This book is the first major study to investigate what led to this change, how it has affected cross-strait relations and how China will deal with the new government in Taiwan. The author also provides a detailed reading of U.S. military, economic and political involvement in the region and its strategy for Asia and China. Indications of strategic change under the Bush Administration and the possible impact of 11 September on U.S.-China relations are also examined.

China-ASEAN Trade Relations Cover

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China-ASEAN Trade Relations

A Discussion on Complementarity and Competition

Chen Wen and Liao Shaolian

The bilateral trade relationship between China and ASEAN has improved substantially in recent years. Considering China's fantastic economic growth and its increasing role in the world economy, ASEAN countries are more cautious about China's presence. In order to promote mutual understanding, to continuously search for new fields and ways for cooperation, and to find possible approaches to attaining a propitious outcome of the competition, and ways to ameliorate adverse effects of the rivalry, this book examines the trade relations between China and ASEAN that will have great impact on the China-ASEAN relationship as a whole in the future.

China's Dilemma Cover

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China's Dilemma

The Taiwan Issue

Sheng Lijun

This book is a study of the Taiwan issue after the Cold War. It focuses on the changes in Mainland China's Taiwan policy in the period between Lee Teng-hui's 1995 U.S. tour and his "two states" theory in 1999. It discusses why the tension across the Taiwan Strait flared up in 1995 and 1999, and how Mainland China handled, and is going to handle, its relations with Taiwan and the United States in the 21st century.

Chinese Indonesians Cover

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Chinese Indonesians

Remembering, Distorting, Forgetting

Tim Lindsey and Helen Pausacker

This volume honours, and reflects on, the life and work of the Australian Indonesianist, Charles A. Coppel. His interests -- reflected in this volume -- are broad, ranging from history, politics, legal issues, and violence against the Chinese, through to culture and religion. The chapters in the volume, contributed by scholars from Australia, Indonesia, Europe, and Singapore, also all reflect a theme, inspired by Charles Coppel’s expression, “remembering, distorting, forgetting”, by which he drew attention to misrepresentations of the Chinese, seeking to locate the realities behind the myths that form the basis for the racism and xenophobia the Chinese have often experienced in Indonesia.

Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia Cover

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Chinese Schools in Peninsular Malaysia

The Struggle for Survival

Lee Ting Hui

The history of modern Chinese schools in Peninsular Malaysia is a story of conflicts between Chinese domiciled there and different governments that happened or happen to rule the land. Before the days of the Pacific War, the British found the Chinese schools troublesome because of their pro-China political activities. They established measures to control them. When the Japanese ruled the Malay Peninsula, they closed down all the Chinese schools. After the Pacific War, for a decade, the British sought to convert the Chinese schools into English schools. The Chinese schools decoupled themselves from China and survived. A Malay-dominated government of independent Peninsular Malaysia allowed Chinese primary schools to continue, but finally changed many Chinese secondary schools into National Type Secondary Schools using Malay as the main medium of instruction. Those that remained independent, along with Chinese colleges, continued without government assistance. The Chinese community today continues to safeguard its educational institutions to ensure they survive.

Christianity in Southeast Asia Cover

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Christianity in Southeast Asia

Robbie B. H. Goh

This book briefly recounts the history of the establishment and expansion of Christianity in Southeast Asia from the colonial times onwards. With the exception of the Philippines, Christianity has been a minor religion in much of Southeast Asia, albeit one whose followers have sometimes had a disproportionate impact on education and other sectors of society. The author focuses on the current expansion of aggressive evangelical Christian groups in particular, and their prospects for increasing their following in various countries in the region and what the possible implications could be.

Civil Society in Southeast Asia Cover

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Civil Society in Southeast Asia

Lee Hock Guan

What is the relevance of civil society to people empowerment, effective governance, and deepening democracy? This book addresses this question by examining the activities and public participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the areas of religion, ethnicity, gender and the environment. Examples are taken from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. State regimes' attempts to co-opt the concept or reject it as alien to "Asian values" have apparently not turned out as expected. This is evident from the fact that many Southeast Asian citizens are inspired by the civil society concept and now engage in public discourse and participation. The experience of civil society in Southeast Asia shows that its impact -- or lack of impact -- on democratization and democracy depends on a variety of factors not only within civil society itself, but also within the state.

Civilizations in Embrace Cover

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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

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.

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The Closing of the Frontier

A History of the Marine Fisheries of Southeast Asia, c.1850-2000

John G Butcher

This book is the first on the history of the marine fisheries of Southeast Asia. It takes as its central theme the movement of fisheries into new fishing grounds, particularly the diverse ecosystems that make up the seas of Southeast Asia. This process accelerated between the 1950s and 1970s in what the author calls “the great fish race”. Catches soared as the population of the region grew, demand from Japan and North America for shrimps and tuna increased, and fishers adopted more efficient ways of locating, catching, and preserving fish. But the great fish race soon brought about the severe depletion of one fish population after another, while pollution and the destruction of mangroves and coral reefs degraded fish habitats. Today the relentless movement into new fishing grounds has come to an end, for there are no new fishing grounds to exploit. The frontier of fisheries has closed. The challenge now is to exploit the seas in ways that preserve the diversity of marine life while providing the people of the region with a source of food long into the future.

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