Bookshelf Spotlight: Southeast Asia & Political/Social Violence

Featured University Of Hawai’i Press Publishing

* The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century

The Singapore and Melaka Straits: Violence, Security and Diplomacy in the 17th Century


by Peter Borschberg
University Of Hawai’i Press, 2010

The first half of the 17th century brought heightened political, commercial, and diplomatic activity to the Straits of Singapore and Melaka. Key elements included rivalry between Johor and Aceh, the rapid expansion of the Acehnese Empire, the arrival of the Dutch East India Company, and the waning of Portuguese power and prestige across the region. Archives in Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands contain detailed information on these developments in the forms of maps, rare printed works, and unpublished manuscripts, many of them unfamiliar to modern researchers.

The Singapore and Melaka Straits draws on these materials to examine early modern European cartography as a projection of Western power, treaty and alliance making, trade relations, and the struggle for naval hegemony in the Singapore and Melaka Straits. The book provides an unprecedented look at the diplomatic activities of Asian powers in the region, and also shows how the Spanish and the Portuguese attempted to restore their political fortunes by containing the rapid rise of Dutch power. The appendices provide copies of key documents, transcribed and translated into English for the first time.

The book will be invaluable for historians and others interested in the European presence in Asia. It provides a fascinating look at the Malay world, trade, and international relations during a pivotal period about which relatively little is known.

University Of Hawai’i Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

Featured Books

* Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia: Critical Perspectives
* International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy
* Dancing With the Devil: A Personal Account of Policing the East Timor Vote for Independence
* Conflict, Violence, and Displacement in Indonesia
* Colonialism, Violence and Muslims in Southeast Asia

Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia: Critical Perspectives


Edited by Itty Abraham, Edward Newman and Meredith L. Weiss
United Nations University Press, 2010

This volume explores the sources and manifestations of political violence in South and Southeast Asia and the myriad roles that it plays in everyday life and as part of historical narrative. It considers and critiques the manner in which political violence is understood and constructed, and the common assumptions that prevail regarding the causes, victims and perpetrators of this violence. By focusing on the social and political context of these regions the volume presents a critical understanding of the nature of political violence and provides an alternative narrative to that found in mainstream analysis of ‘terrorism’.

Political Violence in South and Southeast Asia brings together political scientists and anthropologists with intimate knowledge of the politics and society of these regions, from different academic backgrounds, who present unique perspectives on topics including assassinations, riots, state violence, the significance of geographic borders, external influences and intervention, and patterns of recruitment and rebellion.

Itty Abraham is an Associate Professor and Director of the South Asia Institute, University of Texas at Austin. Edward Newman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham, UK. Meredith L. Weiss is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University at Albany, State University of New York.

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International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy


by David Shambaugh & Michael Yahuda
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008

This text offers a clear and comprehensive introduction to the international relations of contemporary Southeast Asia. Organized thematically around the central foreign policy questions facing regional decision makers, the book explores the struggle to overcome their subordination to global political, economic, and social forces. The international agenda continually tests Southeast Asia’s policy elites as they are buffeted by the security demands of the war on terrorism; the economic demands of globalism; and social and political demands centered around such contentious issues as democracy, human rights, environment, and gender. One reaction is to give new urgency to regionalist initiatives, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Yet, the author argues, regionalism continues to be frustrated by national interests and ASEAN states’ insistence on sovereignty and noninterference. Overarching the inter-regional relationships is the shifting power structure between the United States and China. Throughout the book run the key questions defining Southeast Asia’s future: Will waning American influence be balanced by the growth of Chinese power in the region? And if so, does Southeast Asia face a new subordination rather than genuine autonomy? An invaluable guide to the region, this balanced and lucid work will be an essential text for courses on Southeast Asia and on the international relations of the Asia-Pacific.

Rowman & Littlefield | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Dancing With the Devil: A Personal Account of Policing the East Timor Vote for Independence


by David Savage
Monash Asia Institute, 2002

Dancing with the devil is a UN police officer’s memoir of the independence ballot in East Timor. With compassion and humour, David Savage tells the simple truth about the horrific events he witnessed, and the triumph of a quiet, resilient people.

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Conflict, Violence, and Displacement in Indonesia


ed. by Eva-Lotta E. Hedman
Cornell University Press, 2008

This volume foregrounds the dynamics of displacement and the experiences of internal refugees uprooted by conflict and violence in Indonesia. Contributors examine internal displacement in the context of militarized conflict and violence in East Timor, Aceh, and Papua, and in other parts of Outer Island Indonesia during the transition from authoritarian rule. The volume also explores official and humanitarian discourses on displacement and their significance for the politics of representation.

Cornell University Press | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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Colonialism, Violence and Muslims in Southeast Asia


by Syed Muhd Khair Aljunied
Taylor & Francis Inc, 2009

This book deals with the genesis, outbreak and far-reaching effects of a legal controversy and the resulting outbreak of mass violence, which determined the course of British colonial rule after post World War Two in Singapore and Malaya. Based on extensive archival sources, it examines the custody hearing of Maria Hertogh, a case which exposed tensions between Malay and Singaporean Muslims and British colonial society. Investigating the wide-ranging effects and crises faced in the aftermath of the riots, the analysis focuses in particular on the restoration of peace and rebuilding of society.

The author provides a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of British management of riots and mass violence in Southeast Asia. By exploring the responses by non-British communities in Singapore, Malaya and the wider Muslim world to the Maria Hertogh controversy, he shows that British strategies and policies can be better understood through the themes of resistance and collaboration. Furthermore, the book argues that British enactment of laws pertaining to the management of religions in the post-war period had dispossessed religious minorities of their perceived religious rights. As a result, outbreaks of mass violence and continual grievances ensued in the final years of British colonial rule in Southeast Asia – and these tensions still pertain in the present.

This book will be of interest to scholars and students of law and society, history, Imperial History and Asian Studies, and to anyone studying minorities, and violence and recovery.

Taylor & Francis Inc | Goodreads | Amazon | Google Books

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