Towards Community Formation in Southeast Asia?: History Education, ASEAN and the Nation-State
- Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 32, Number 1, March 2017
- pp. 137-169
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In 2003 the Association of Southeast Asian Nations declared the establishment of an ASEAN Community. The teaching of regional history is seen as indispensable to the attainment of this goal. Eight country reports commissioned by UNESCO Bangkok in 2013 serve as the basis of an inquiry into history education and the teaching of Southeast Asian history in primary and secondary schools. State control of education has produced school systems that, despite their potential, hamper the imagining of a regional community. Under state directives, schools prioritize political socialization into the nation-state and sacrifice shared regional history in favour of national history. Yet promoting interest in national and Southeast Asian histories is possible.