An Understanding of Urban and Rural in Southeast Asia

This volume of four translations, selected by Dr. Kate Frieson, represents the theme of the transformation shaping Southeast Asian urban and rural history since the 17th century. The two chapters by veteran scholar Anthony Reid on “Material Culture and The City and Its Commerce” are drawn from his book: Southeast Asia in the Age of Commerce 1450-1680, Vol 1. This seminal work provides an enormous amount of ethnographic and cultural history about both rural and urban developments within mainland and peninsular Southeast Asia prior to the colonial period. Here, we learn about environmental and cultural forces that shaped early urbanization and its role as a commercial hub for East Indies and Middle East traders en route to China. The latter two articles are by Philip Kelly and Terry McGee: “Changing Spaces: Southeast Asian Urbanization in an Era of Volatile Globalization”, from Southeast Asia Transformed: A Geography of Change (2003) and Peter Xenos’ “Demographic Forces Shaping Youth Populations in Asian Cities”, from Youth, Poverty and Conflict in Southeast Asian Cities (2004). These texts shift the gaze to the modern post-colonial era and provide a geographer’s view of how cities become a microcosm of generational change, opening up spaces for global forces to enter, and further shifting burdens of growth onto burgeoning youthful populations.

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Definitions of Nationalism and Identity in the World and Asia

The CKS has now produced sixth of these readers. This volume is the outcome of the session: “History of Modern Nationalism in Southeast Asia”, led by distinguished Thai historian Professor Charnvit Kasetsiri, from Thammasat University, Bangkok. It consists of three readings. At the invitation of Prof. Charnvit, the session’s participants were honored and privileged to have the eminent professor Benedict Anderson deliver two lectures: “Historical Development of Universal Nationalism” and “Nationalism in Asia”. Prof. Anderson addressed themes and issues from his hugely influential book: Imagined Communities, Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. This was Prof. Anderson’s first visit to Cambodia since 1963. To mark the occasion, and as a tribute to the importance of this work,the CKS transcribed and translated the lectures into the Khmer language. The lectures were particularly poignant for the Cambodian participants as they helped to shed light on recent tensions between Thailand and Cambodia. These tensions are embedded in ideas about nationalism and historical conflict, manifested in the dispute between the two countries over the Khmer Preah Vihear temple and related border issues. Another influential article in this volume is Thongchai Winichakul’s “Trying to locate Southeast Asia from its navel: locating Southeast Asia: Where is Southeast Asian Studies in Thailand?” This article was originally published in the CKS’s journal Siksacakr. It has been reproduced here in an effort to reach a wider Cambodian audience. The article explains the historical development of Southeast Asian studies in Thailand which attempted to follow the academic standard of Western curriculum.

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Politics as Prison

This seventh volume represents the session: Researching the Cultural Construction of Politics in Mainland Southeast Asia led by Eric J. Haanstad, Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This volume consists of three readings selected by Dr. Eric Haanstad: the first article entitled “State of Fear: Controlling the Criminal Contagion in Suharto’s New Order” by Barker Joshua, the second article entitled “Issues in the Study of Police Culture” by John Crank and the third article in entitled “Violence and the Culture Order” by Neil Whitehead.
In keeping with the pedagogical objectives of the JFTP, we sincerely hope that these translated texts will be of use to both professors and students in the fields of History, Sociology, Economics, Anthropology, Political Science, International Relations, and other fields. We also hope that they will encourage readers to critically investigate the relevant issues and themes using a comparative and interdisciplinary approach.

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