at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

New Releases from NUS Press


Changing Lives in Laos: Society, Politics and Culture in a Post-Socialist State
Vanina Bouté (Editor) and Vatthana Pholsena (Editor)

Changes in the character of the political regime in Laos after 2000, a massive influx of foreign investment, and disruptions to rural life arising from improved communications and new forms of mobility within and across the borders have produced a major transformation. Alongside these changes, a group of young scholars carried out studies that document the rise of a new social, cultural and economic order. The contributions to this volume draw on original fieldwork materials and unpublished sources, and provide fresh analyses of topics ranging from the structures of power to the politics of territoriality and new forms of sociability in emerging urban spaces.
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Moral Politics in the Philippines: Inequality, Democracy and the Urban Poor
Wataru Kusaka

“The people” famously ousted Ferdinand Marcos from power in the Philippines in 1986. After democratization, though, a fault line appeared that split the people into citizens and the masses. The former were members of the middle class who engaged in civic action against the restored elite-dominated democracy, and viewed themselves as moral citizens in contrast with the masses, who were poor, engaged in illicit activities and backed flawed leaders. The masses supported emerging populist counter-elites who promised to combat inequality, and saw themselves as morally upright in contrast to the arrogant and oppressive actions of the wealthy in arrogating resources to themselves.

In 2001 the middle class toppled the populist president Joseph Estrada through an extra-constitutional movement that the masses denounced as illegitimate. Fearing a populist uprising, the middle class supported action against informal settlements and street vendors, and violent clashes erupted between state forces and the poor. Although solidarity of the people re-emerged in opposition to the corrupt presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and propelled Benigno Aquino III to victory in 2010, inequality and elite rule continue to bedevil Philippine society. Each group considers the other as a threat to democracy, and the prevailing moral antagonism makes it difficult to overcome structural causes of inequality.

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Liberalism and the Postcolony: Thinking the State in 20th-Century Philippines
Lisandro E. Claudio

Extricating liberalism from the haze of anti-modernist and anti-European caricature, this book traces the role of liberal philosophy in the building of a new nation. It examines the role of toleration, rights, and mediation in the postcolony. Through the biographies of four Filipino scholar-bureaucrats—Camilo Osias, Salvador Araneta, Carlos P. Romulo, and Salvador P. Lopez—Lisandro E. Claudio argues that liberal thought served as the grammar of Filipino democracy in the 20th century. By looking at various articulations of liberalism in pedagogy, international affairs, economics, and literature, Claudio not only narrates an obscured history of the Philippine state, he also argues for a new liberalism rooted in the postcolonial experience, a timely intervention considering current developments in politics in Southeast Asia.
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Contemporary Indonesian Art: Artists, Art Spaces, and Collectors
Yvonne Spielmann (Author) and Mitch Cohen (Translator)

Indonesian art entered the global contemporary art world of independent curators, art fairs, and biennales in the 1990s. By the mid-2000s, Indonesian works were well-established on the Asian secondary art market, achieving record-breaking prices at auction houses in Singapore and Hong Kong. This comprehensive overview introduces Indonesian contemporary art in a fresh and stimulating manner, demonstrating how contemporary art breaks from colonial and post-colonial power structures, and grapples with issues of identity and nation-building in Indonesia. Across different media, in performance and installation, it amalgamates ethnic, cultural, and religious references in its visuals, and confidently brings together the traditional (batik, woodcut, dance, Javanese shadow puppet theater) with the contemporary (comics and manga, graffiti, advertising, pop culture).

Spielmann’s Contemporary Indonesian Art surveys the key artists, curators, institutions, and collectors in the local art scene and looks at the significance of Indonesian art in the Asian context. Through this book, originally published in German, Spielmann stakes a claim for the global relevance of Indonesian art.

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