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Nation Building Cover

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Nation Building

Five Southeast Asian Histories

Wang Gungwu

The book addresses questions such as: how should historians treat the earlier pasts of each country and the nationalism that guided the nation-building tasks? Where did political culture come in, especially when dealing with modern challenges of class, secularism and ethnicity? What part do external or regional pressures play when the nations are still being built? The authors have thought deeply about the issues of writing nation-building histories and have tried to put them not only in the perspective of Southeast Asian developments of the past five decades, but also the larger areas of historiography today.

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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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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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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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Polarising Javanese Society

Islamic and Other Vision, c. 1830-1930

M.C. Ricklefs

By the early 19th century, Islam had come to be the religious element in Javanese identity, but it was a particular kind of Islam described by the author as a “mystic synthesis”. The Javanese held firmly to their identity as Muslims and fulfilled the basic ritual obligations of the faith, but they also accepted the reality of local spiritual forces. Polarising Javanese Society discusses how colonial rule, population pressure and Islamic reform undermined this distinctively Javanese syncretism. A fourfold division appeared among pious Muslims -- some remained adherents of the “mystic synthesis”, some followed reformers who demanded a more orthoprax way of life, some supported reformist Sufis, and some accepted messianic ideas. A new category emerged comprising Javanese who resisted Islamic reform and began to attenuate their Islamic identity. These increasingly nominal Muslims -- the majority -- became known as abangan. The priyayi elite meanwhile embraced the forms of modernity as represented by their European rulers and modern scientific learning, and Christianity began to make limited inroads into Javanese society. Some even came to regard the original conversion of the Javanese to Islam as a civilisational mistake, and within this social element explicitly anti-Islamic concepts took shape. In the early 20th century, these categories became politicised in the context of Indonesia’s nascent anti-colonial movements. Thus were born the contending political identities that lay behind much of the conflict and bloodshed of 20th-century Indonesia. Based on a wide range of original sources in Javanese and Dutch, this book is the first thoroughly researched publication on Islam in Java.

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Policing America’s Empire

The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State

Alfred W. McCoy

At the dawn of the twentieth century, the U.S. Army swiftly occupied Manila and then plunged into a decade-long pacification campaign with striking parallels to today’s war in Iraq. Armed with cutting-edge technology from America’s first information revolution, the U.S. colonial regime created the most modern police and intelligence units anywhere under the American flag. In Policing America’s Empire Alfred W. McCoy shows how this imperial panopticon slowly crushed the Filipino revolutionary movement with a lethal mix of firepower, surveillance, and incriminating information. Even after Washington freed its colony and won global power in 1945, it would intervene in the Philippines periodically for the next half-century—using the country as a laboratory for counterinsurgency and rearming local security forces for repression. In trying to create a democracy in the Philippines, the United States unleashed profoundly undemocratic forces that persist to the present day.
    But security techniques bred in the tropical hothouse of colonial rule were not contained, McCoy shows, at this remote periphery of American power. Migrating homeward through both personnel and policies, these innovations helped shape a new federal security apparatus during World War I. Once established under the pressures of wartime mobilization, this distinctively American system of public-private surveillance persisted in various forms for the next fifty years, as an omnipresent, sub rosa matrix that honeycombed U.S. society with active informers, secretive civilian organizations, and government counterintelligence agencies. In each succeeding global crisis, this covert nexus expanded its domestic operations, producing new contraventions of civil liberties—from the harassment of labor activists and ethnic communities during World War I, to the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, all the way to the secret blacklisting of suspected communists during the Cold War.

“With a breathtaking sweep of archival research, McCoy shows how repressive techniques developed in the colonial Philippines migrated back to the United States for use against people of color, aliens, and really any heterodox challenge to American power. This book proves Mark Twain’s adage that you cannot have an empire abroad and a republic at home.”—Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago

 “This book lays the Philippine body politic on the examination table to reveal the disease that lies within—crime, clandestine policing, and political scandal. But McCoy also draws the line from Manila to Baghdad, arguing that the seeds of controversial counterinsurgency tactics used in Iraq were sown in the anti-guerrilla operations in the Philippines. His arguments are forceful.”—Sheila S. Coronel, Columbia University
 
Winner, George McT. Kahin Prize of the Southeast Asian Council of the Association for Asian Studies

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The Politics of Multiculturalism

Robert Hefner

Few challenges to the modern dream of democratic citizenship appear greater than the presence of severe ethnic, religious, and linguistic divisions in society. With their diverse religions and ethnic communities, the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia have grappled with this problem since achieving independence after World War II. Each country has on occasion been torn by violence over the proper terms for accommodating pluralism. Until the Asian economic crisis of 1997, however, these nations also enjoyed one of the most sustained economic expansions the non-Western world has ever seen. This timely volume brings together fifteen leading specialists of the region to consider the impact of two generations of nation-building and market-making on pluralism and citizenship in these deeply divided Asian societies. Examining the new face of pluralism from the perspective of markets, politics, gender, and religion, the studies show that each country has developed a strikingly different response to the challenges of citizenship and diversity. The contributors, most of whom come Southeast Asia, pay particular attention to the tension between state and societal approaches to citizenship. They suggest that the achievement of an effectively participatory public sphere in these countries will depend not only on the presence of an independent "civil society," but on a synergy of state and society that nurtures a public culture capable of mediating ethnic, religious, and gender divides. The Politics of Multiculturalism will be of special interest to students of Southeast Asian history and society, anthropologists grappling with questions of citizenship and culture, political scientists studying democracy across cultures, and all readers concerned with the prospects for civility and tolerance in a multicultural world.

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