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Southeast Asia Program, Cornell University

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Cambodia's Second Kingdom

Nation, Imagination, and Democracy

by Astrid Norén-Nilsson

Cambodia's Second Kingdom is an exploration of the role of nationalist imaginings, discourses, and narratives in Cambodia since the 1993 reintroduction of a multiparty democratic system. Competing nationalistic imaginings are shown to be a more prominent part of party political contestation in the Kingdom of Cambodia than typically believed. For political parties, nationalistic imaginings became the basis for strategies to attract popular support, electoral victories, and moral legitimacy. Astrid Norén-Nilsson uses uncommon sources, such as interviews with key contemporary political actors, to analyze Cambodia’s postconflict reconstruction politics. This book exposes how nationalist imaginings, typically understood to be associated with political opposition, have been central to the reworking of political identities and legitimacy bids across the political spectrum. Norén-Nilsson examines the entanglement of notions of democracy and national identity and traces out a tension between domestic elite imaginings and the liberal democratic framework in which they operate.

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The Land of Gold

Post-Conflict Recovery and Cultural Revival in Independent Timor-Leste

by Judith Bovensiepen

In the village of Funar, located in the central highlands of Timor-Leste, the disturbing events of the twenty-four-year-long Indonesian occupation are rarely articulated in narratives of suffering. Instead, the highlanders emphasize the significance of their return to the sacred land of the ancestors, a place where “gold” is abundant and life is thought to originate. To recover from the forced dislocation the highlanders experienced under the Indonesian occupation, they seek to reestablish a mythical, primordial unity with the land by reinvigorating ancestral practices.

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A Sarong for Clio

Essays on the Intellectual and Cultural History of Thailand--Inspired by Craig Reynolds

edited by Maurizio Peleggi

A Sarong for Clio testifies to an ongoing intellectual dialogue between its ten contributors and Craig J. Reynolds, who inspired these essays. Conceived as a tribute to an innovative scholar, dedicated teacher, and generous colleague, it is this volume's ambition to make a concerted intervention on Thai historiography—and Thai studies more generally—by pursuing in new directions ideas that figure prominently in Reynolds's scholarship. The writings gathered here revolve around two prominent themes in Reynolds's scholarship: the nexus of historiography and power, and Thai political and business cultures—often so intertwined as to be difficult to separate. The chapters examine different types of historical texts, Thai political discourse and political culture, and the media production of consumer culture. Contributors: Chris Baker; Patrick Jory, University of Queensland, Brisbane; Tamara Loos, Cornell University; Yoshinori Nishizaki, National University of Singapore; James Ockey, University of Canterbury; Maurizio Peleggi, National University of Singapore; Pasuk Phongpaichit, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; Kasian Tejapir, Thammasat University, Bangkok; Villa Vilaithong, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; Thongchai Winichakul, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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Voices from the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1967-1975)

edited by K.W. Taylor

The Republic of (South) Vietnam is commonly viewed as a unified entity throughout the two decades (1955–75) during which the United States was its main ally. However, domestic politics during that time followed a dynamic trajectory from authoritarianism to chaos to a relatively stable experiment in parliamentary democracy. The stereotype of South Vietnam that appears in most writings, both academic and popular, focuses on the first two periods to portray a caricature of a corrupt, unstable dictatorship and ignores what was achieved during the last eight years. The essays in Voices from the Second Republic of South Vietnam (1967–1975) come from those who strove to build a constitutional structure of representative government during a war for survival with a totalitarian state. Those committed to realizing a noncommunist Vietnamese future placed their hopes in the Second Republic, fought for it, and worked for its success. This book is a step in making their stories known.

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