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The formation of UNICEF in 1946 was a major turning point in humanitarian aid to children, and is discussed in Chapter 7. The United Nations (UN) initiated the World Refugee Year in 1959–1960 which was based on ideas of humanitarian rights – the right to access humanitarian aid. Children formed a major part of these campaigns in fundraising and drawing on support. While UNICEF did not promote adopting, it retained the Western model of fundraising support in Southeast Asia through campaigns of aid and development. Chapter 7 considers the role of UNICEF Australia in the region during the Vietnam War. Its campaign did so by depoliticising and decontextualising war by framing child refugees in neutral terms – as objects of humanitarian assistance to attract funds worthy of pity – rather than as victims of a political conflict, which would also demand a political analysis of US and Australian foreign policy. In doing so, it constructed an altruistic humanitarianism which framed donors as a community of secular heroes and saviours.
This paper draws on archival research to trace the techniques used by scientists and government officials involved with palm oil at the turn of the twentieth century. For them, mundane practices of “carefulness” were paramount as they worked on collecting, identifying, marketing, and improving the oil palm. But they also applied this so-called care to people: care of the oil palm was thought to presuppose care of the “native,” providing a correction for what were seen as “careless” local manners of cultivation. Colonial techniques of care thus sought to encompass both plants and peoples within contemporary liberal rhetorics of efficiency and moral improvement. This embodies how scientific and political care can interlink through their undersides of control, exploitation, and domination, which remain obscured by narratives of care themselves. Examining these links between commodity histories and scientific techniques is therefore essential for understanding environmental and social concerns regarding oil palm plantations today. An awareness of the afterlives of colonial discourses might encourage a more critical “care” in response to these issues today, challenging taken-for-granted notions of the benefits of corporate care.
Taking as its case study a cluster of schools, libraries, and learned societies in Southeast Asia, this chapter considers the operation of nineteenth-century colonial cultural institutions on multiple scalar and conceptual levels. First, as local, regional, and transnational networks of people, enabling both bonding networks with local and regional institutions and bridging networks with metropolitan institutions. Second, as geographical nodes and/or centres of regional knowledge collection, production, and accumulation that extend and disseminate knowledge gathered in the colonies to metropoles and regional centres via cultural goods such as journals, publication exchanges, and printed works. And third, as perceived beacons attracting European and non-European knowledge producers and consumers within a global system of useful knowledge societies for the diffusion of moral and intellectual improvement. Focusing on the transmission of what Andrew Sartori has called a global ‘culture concept’, the chapter argues that these institutions were critical both to British expansionism in Southeast Asia and to the creation of Chinese and Malay counterpublics that opposed British cultural hegemony.
This article provides an overview of the scholarship on healthcare reform in democratic middle-income countries through comparative cases from Indonesia and Thailand. This study identifies the reasons why Thailand has achieved universal healthcare faster than Indonesia and analyses the policy outputs towards universalism resulting from unfolding reforms. Taking a closer look at the causal mechanisms underpinning healthcare developments (clientelistic-based mechanism and limited vertical alliance-based mechanism), we discuss how changes in political economy have enhanced the state’s intervention in the healthcare sector while reproducing the fragmented and stratified nature of the system. Based on coverage, generosity and financial risk protection, Thailand has a higher degree of universalism in comparison with Indonesia. The article suggests that the welfare regime now governing healthcare can be conceptualised as a developmental-universalist state, while noting a less-effective model for Indonesia and a more effective model for Thailand.
There are a few hundred known sign languages around the world, and in such language communities, multilingualism is the norm. This multilingualism traverses modalities: signed, written, and, in some cases, spoken forms of language. Such a linguistic landscape inevitably leads to various forms of language contact between languages, including contact between two or more signed languages (characterised by lexical borrowing), signed language and spoken language (characterised by mouthings), and signed language and written language (characterised by fingerspelling, initialized fingerspelling). This chapter also covers sign language interference, code switching and code mixing, and the concept of bimodal bilingualism. The chapter concludes with a discussion of pidginization and creolization of sign languages and sign language endangerment, as well as general comments on the characteristics of contact between signed languages.
This final chapter explores the patchwork state in comparative perspective. It places the uneven state-building trajectories of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh in the context of broader South Asia. It then contrasts South Asian patchwork states with dynamics in East and Southeast Asian cases, which had internal differentiation in colonial governance, but also Japanese conquest and postwar revolutionary and counterrevolutionary mobilization. The chapter concludes with the application of fear, greed and frugality in the creation of the British and American Empires, and their consequences in state strength and weakness.
What do rights mean in Southeast Asia? How do differently situated individuals, social groups, and institutions, make sense of and deploy concepts of rights? How do their concepts relate to religious beliefs, norms, and practices that underpin social hierarchy and relations, as well as experiences with and memories of political conflict and post-colonial developments? What are the consequences of asserting rights? This Element takes a 'politics of rights' approach. The approach treats rights not merely as substantive or normative meanings found in international law, regional instruments and domestic constitutional documents, but as political processes: Rights come to life through ongoing series of social interactions. The approach in this Element helps readers understand the often contradictory findings about rights in a manner sensible to political subjectivities and helps readers make sense of why rights are sometimes helpful to Southeast Asians who appeal to them, sometimes disappointing, and often paradoxically both.
Invasive plant species (IPS) management in national parks is a complex problem often characterized by the involvement of various organizations with different responsibilities, legal mandates, and jurisdictions. These institutional arrangements shape the structure, function, and decision-making behaviors of organizations and influence management effectiveness. Drawing on institutional theory, this study analyzed institutional arrangements and how these influenced IPS management in Vietnam’s national parks. Data were collected between May and July 2017 using in-depth interviews with 39 key informants with responsibility for IPS management at different institutional levels (national, provincial, and local national parks). Results demonstrated that IPS management in Vietnam’s national parks was characterized by centralized management with overlaps and gaps in vertical institutional relationships that limited the effectiveness of horizontal relationships. These characteristics resulted in a lack of clear guiding regulations and limited resources that restricted decision making and hindered implementation at the local national park level. The study highlights the need for a common set of principles across agencies, governed by an overarching body to promote constructive relationships across the vertical and horizontal institutional dimensions of IPS management.
Anti-corruption efforts are inherently political. Corruption charges can be levied against political opponents as an instrument of repression; they can also be used against troublesome allies in the same party coalition to further consolidate power. In this paper, we focus on Indonesia and ask: Do major corruption charges follow a presidential electoral cycle—and if so, how? We contend charges against prominent members of the government coalition are more likely to happen before an election, allowing the government to replace intra-party rivals with loyal allies. Conversely, charges against prominent opposition members are more likely to happen after an election when fears of retaliation are low, opportunities for credit-claiming are high, and there is an incentive to remove veto players who may inhibit implementing the government's agenda. To test this argument, we use an original, newly assembled dataset of all major corruption charges—i.e., those involving high-profile politicians and garnering international attention—in Indonesia from 1998–2015 as reported in the Associated Press. We find a significant and robust relationship between the electoral calendar and major corruption charges. This relationship is robust across presidential administrations. These results yield insights into how anti-corruption efforts can become a political tool and counsel caution about the effectiveness of “good governance,” especially in new democracies. Finally, we discuss how contextual political factors external to Indonesia's anti-corruption commission, reinforce this empirical pattern.
The most westerly Pacific island chain, running from Taiwan southwards through the Philippines, has long been central in debates about the origins and early migrations of Austronesian-speaking peoples from the Asian mainland into the islands of Southeast Asia and Oceania. Focusing on the Cagayan Valley of northern Luzon in the Philippines, the authors combine new and published radiocarbon dates to underpin a revised culture-historical synthesis. The results speak to the initial contacts and long-term relationships between Indigenous hunter-gatherers and immigrant Neolithic farmers, and the question of how the early speakers of Malayo-Polynesian languages spread into and through the Philippines.
Sexuality and gender diversity rights in Southeast Asia are deeply controversial and vigorously contested. Debate and protest have been accompanied by both legislative reform and discriminatory violence. These contradictory dynamics are occurring at a time when the international human rights regime has explicitly incorporated a focus on the prevention of violence and discrimination in relation to sexuality and gender diversity. This Element focusses on the need for such rights. This Element explores the burgeoning of civil society organisations engaged in an emancipatory politics inclusive of sexuality and gender diversity, utilising rights politics as a platform for visibility, contestation and mobilisation. This Element focusses on the articulation of political struggle through a shared set of rights claims, which in turn relates to shared experiences of violence and discrimination, and a visceral demand and hope for change.
Snake soup continues to be an iconic tradition in Cantonese culture. Yet little is known about the relationship between snake soup consumption in Hong Kong, wild snake populations, and the communities depending on this tradition for their livelihoods. We applied an interdisciplinary approach including interviews with shopkeepers and genetic analyses of snake meat samples to determine the species consumed in Hong Kong, their source locations, and shopkeepers’ views on the future of the industry. We genetically identified the common rat snake Ptyas mucosa, widely distributed throughout East and Southeast Asia, and the Javan spitting cobra Naja sputatrix, endemic to Indonesia, as the species most commonly consumed, which was consistent with interview responses. According to interviews, snakes had mostly been imported from mainland China in the past, but now tend to be sourced from Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia. Interviews also revealed a pessimistic outlook on the continuation of this tradition because of various factors, including a lasting yet misinformed association of snakes with the 2002–2003 outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and China's ensuing ban on the consumption of terrestrial wildlife, Hong Kong's snake soup industry will probably continue to rely on Southeast Asian sources to persist. Given the cultural and conservation issues surrounding this tradition, further research on the economic, ecological and social consequences of snake consumption is needed to examine the broader implications of snake soup and similar industries in the region.
Climate justice is a term used for framing global warming and its manifold consequences as not only an environmental issue but also as involving ethical and political questions. In this chapter, I examine the usefulness of imaginative literatures from the Global South that focus on climate catastrophes and analyse them to probe the ways in which they add value. My central argument is undergirded by the idea that to achieve climate justice, it is necessary to involve disenfranchised groups in the policy-making process, for which imaginative literatures emerging from situated locations that give voice to their troubles become most pertinent.
What explains the treatment of ethnic minorities in Southeast Asia? This Element conceptually disaggregates ethnicity into multiple constituent markers – specifically language, religion, and phenotype. By focusing on the interaction between these three ethnic markers, Liu and Ricks explore how overlap between these markers can affect whether a minority integrates within a broader ethnic identity; successfully extracts accommodation as unique group; or engages in a contentious and potentially violent relationship with the hegemon. The argument is tested through six case studies: (1) ethnic Lao in Thailand: integration; (2) ethnic Chinese in Thailand: integration; (3) ethnic Chinese in Malaysia: accommodation; (4) ethnic Malays in Singapore: accommodation; (5) ethnic Malays in Thailand: contention; and (6) ethnic Chinese in Indonesia: contention.
This Element examines gender in Southeast Asia by focusing on two main themes. The first concerns hegemonic cultural constructions of gender and Southeast Asian subjects' responses to these dominant discourses. Roces introduces hegemonic discourses on ideal masculinities and ideal femininities, evaluates the impact of religion, analyses how authoritarian regimes fashion these ideals. Discussion then turns to the hegemonic ideals surrounding desire and sexualities and the way these are policed by society and the state. The second theme concerns the ways hegemonic ideals influence the gendering of power and politics. Roces argues that because many Southeast Asians see power as being held by kinship alliance groups, women are able to access political power through their ties with men-as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and even mistresses. However, women's movements have challenged this androcentric division of power.
This article analyses Thailand's place in Japan's Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and how Japan financed its goal of integrating the kingdom into the sphere. Financial arrangements to incorporate Thailand in a yen bloc go well beyond finance to reveal Japanese attitudes and policy towards the Co-Prosperity Sphere. In Thailand, Japan's use of ‘special yen’ created near open-ended Japanese purchasing power. Japan could obtain whatever resources it could ship home but provide Thailand almost no goods in exchange. Although in response to Japanese demands the Thai government printed large quantities of money, prices rose not too much faster than monetary expansion. Thailand, unlike most of wartime Southeast Asia, avoided hyperinflation. It is argued that principal explanations for this economically unexpected stability were Thailand's particular economic structure and the behaviour of Thai peasants.
The Cold War and process of decolonization divided the world, with Vietnam emerging after 1954 as a center of global competition. Leaders of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) in Hanoi believed that success in their revolution could tip the worldwide balance of power in favor of the socialist bloc and national liberation movements. This conviction, combined with the need to conduct diplomacy from a position of military weakness, made those leaders accomplished practitioners of international politics as they balanced commitments to Marxism-Leninism, anti-imperialism, and anti-Americanism.
This chapter addresses how Hanoi navigated its membership and commitment to overlapping international movements at the height of the Cold War. It demonstrates that despite confronting the United States in Indochina, DRV leaders never thought strictly in terms of their own interests. Over the years they iterated and acted upon commitments to socialist internationalism, “world revolution,” and “Third Worldism” (tiermondisme). The Cold War and Sino-Soviet dispute created challenges for Hanoi, but the contemporaneous process of decolonization in the Third World also created opportunities.
Monsoon Asia comprises those parts of tropical Asia that are under the influence of a seasonally dry monsoonal climate. Monsoon Asia includes South Asia and Southeast Asia, as well as the southern and eastern periphery of East Asia. Owing to favourable climatic conditions, as well as other biogeographic factors, these parts of Asia are particularly rich in biodiversity and harbour most of Asia’s biodiversity hotspots. Biodiversity is strongly linked to habitat conditions and thus also to land use as one of the factors affecting habitat quality. Land use, however, is changing from historic agricultural systems to modern commercial systems. Land-use change has accelerated all over Monsoon Asia since the 1960s, mainly as a result of economic growth, infrastructure development, emerging trade networks, development programmes, and policies governing resource exploitation and conservation. Land-use change is generally understood to have a negative effect on biodiversity, mainly through habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, introduction of exotic species, pollution, and other processes. Deforestation and forest degradation are in this respect considered to be the most detrimental processes of land-use and land-cover change in Monsoon Asia. Our understanding of deforestation processes and their effects on biodiversity is, however, hampered by the low quality or poor interpretation of land-cover data, insufficient knowledge of drivers and underlying causes of deforestation, and the rapidity with which economic and political transitions are happening in this part of the world. Another aspect of land-use change causing biodiversity losses is the decline of agrobiodiversity in South and Southeast Asia as a result of agricultural intensification promoted by government policies.
This article presents and discusses a source of unique importance for our knowledge of early modern global exchanges. Produced in 1503 by the Egyptian administration and found among the records of a Venetian company with global commercial interests, the document records hitherto unknown connections between the Arabian Peninsula, the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, followed by cargo figures. By sending the Memorandum to the head office in Venice, the Company's agents in Egypt were labouring to solve the most important concern of Venice's information network, that of coordinating Indian with Mediterranean trading seasons. By analysing the document's context, namely, a company involved in the export of central European metals to Asia, this article focuses on the capacity of its agents to gather information through collaboration, networking and ultimately, friendship with Muslim partners and informers. The story of the 1503 Memorandum and its transmission raises questions about the mixed networks underpinning global exchanges, the role of information and the drive of the late Mamluk sultanate into the world of the Indian Ocean.
This introductory article explores the recent turn in Asian history towards work that foregrounds mobility, circulation, and cosmopolitan connections, decentring colonial territoriality and postcolonial geo-bodies as the primary units of historical analysis. In it, and to frame our own special issue on Muslim movements in Southeast Asia, we point out that some of this mobility was coerced via projects of state territorialisation that actively displaced select, targeted Muslim actors whose presence in the polity was deemed problematic by states seeking to consolidate their power. Echoes of this displacement can be traced in the politics of the Muslim movements that these actors created, as we argue in this article and throughout the special issue.