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A commitment to new and innovative work on South East Asia.

ISSN 0967-828X (print); 2043-6874 (online)

Editor: Dr Rachel Harrison,
Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, University Of London

This journal is covered by Thomson Reuters in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, and Current Contents/Arts & Humanities.

This journal is indexed in Scopus

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Other Sites Of Interest:

AAS Association of Asian Studies

ASEASUK Association of South-East Asian Studies

Cornell University Publications: Southeast Asia Program


Lontar Foundation

Royal Asiatic Society

SEARC Southeast Asia Research Centre

SEAS Society for South-East Asian Studies

SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies

Editorial coverage

Published quarterly by IP Publishing on behalf of SOAS. South East Asia Research includes papers on all aspects of South East Asia within the disciplines of archaeology, art history, economics, geography, history, language and literature, law, music, political science, social anthropology and religious studies. Papers are based on original research or field work.

SOAS is the leading centre in this field in Europe and one of the most prestigious centres of South East Asian studies in the world.

Submissions - Notes for authors

Please send papers to Dr Rachel Harrison, Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK. E-mail: rh6(at)soas.ac.uk.

Length and presentation of contributions

Papers may be submitted as e-mail attachments in Word or in hard copy. The text should be double-spaced and, for hard copy submissions, an electronic copy in Word should also be supplied on a disk or CD. Papers should preferably be in the range of 6,000-8,000 words long, and no more than 10,000 words.

The title page should contain the full names and addresses of the authors, their professional status or affiliation and the mailing address to which correspondence should be sent. As this page will not be forwarded to referees, the title of the article (without author names) should be repeated on the first page of the text.

An abstract should be provided, comprising 100-150 words. Between 3 and 6 keywords should appear below the abstract, highlighting the main topics of the paper. The text should be organized under appropriate cross-headings (not numbered paragraphs).

A citation should preferably be by footnote, but the Harvard system may be used. The following style should be applied to references:

  • Books:Peter Zinoman (2001), The Colonial Bastille: A History of Imprisonment in Vietnam, 1862-1940, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • Journal articles: Martin van Bruinessen (2002), 'Genealogies of Islamic radicalism in post-Suharto Indonesia', South East Asia Research, Vol 10, No 2, pp 117-154.

If the Harvard system is used, the author's surname should appear first (Zinoman, Peter) and textual citation should take the form '(Zinoman, 1990)'. For textual citations, where there are two authors please use the word 'and', not the ampersand (thus: '(Smith and Jones, 2012)'. Where there are more than two authors, please use the first-named author only, followed by 'et al' in italics (thus: Smith et al, 2012).

In the case of a reference in a footnote to a work already cited, the note in which the full citation is given should be stated, with the use of 'supra': for example, 'Zinoman, supra note 9, at p 90'.

Tables and illustrations should be presented on separate pages at the end of the text: they will be placed as close as possible to the first textual reference to them.

South East Asia Research uses British spelling throughout (thus 'colour' not 'color'), with the '-ize' verb suffix (thus 'organize' not 'organise').

Prior Publication

Articles are received on the understanding that they are original contributions, and have not been published officially, either in print or electronic form, or submitted for publication elsewhere. In this respect, ‘discussion’ or ‘working’ papers, conference presentations and proceedings are not considered to be official publications, unless they have been formally deemed so by conference organizers, or presented as edited works through recognized publishing channels. If in doubt, authors are asked to draw the attention of the Editor to any prior dissemination of the paper in their letter of submission. Please note that articles should not be posted on personal Websites or social networking sites before or after submission.


 All papers submitted for publication are subject to a 'double blind' review; that is, the anonymity of both author and referees is maintained throughout the reviewing process.

Author Checklist for Final versions

Editorial Board

  • Editor: Dr Rachel Harrison, Dept of the Languages and Cultures of South East Asia, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG, UK.
    E-mail: rh6(at)soas.ac.uk
  • Regional Editor: Professor Tony Day, Independent Scholar, Singapore, and CT, USA.
    E-mail: samdayweiss(at)gmail.com
  • Book Reviews Editor: Dr Ben Murtagh, Faculty of Languages and Cultures, SOAS, London, UK. E-mail: bm10(at)soas.ac.uk.

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Professor Peter Boomgaard
    KITLV, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Professor Anne Booth
    SOAS, University of London, UK
  • Professor Chua Beng Huat
    National University of Singapore
  • Dr Angela Chiu
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor Michael Herzfeld
    Harvard University, USA
  • Dr Mark Johnson
    University of Hull, UK
  • Professor Benedict J. Kerkvliet
    Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
  • Professor V.T. King
    University of Leeds, UK
  • Dr Gerry van Klinken
    KITLV, The Netherlands
  • Dr Joseph Chinyong Liow
    Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • Dr Tamara Loos,
    Cornell University, USA
  • Dr Michael J. Montesano
    Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
  • Dr Pavida Pananond
    Thammasat University, Thailand
  • Professor Michael G. Peletz
    Emory University, USA
  • Professor Bambang Purwanto
    Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • Professor Vicente L. Rafael
    University of Washington, USA
  • Dr Kostas Retsikas
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor J.D. Rigg
    National University of Singapore
  • Dr Mandy Sadan
    SOAS, UK
  • Professor Henk Schulte Nordholt
    KITLV, Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Professor John T. Sidel
    London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Dr Thitinan Pongsudhirak
    Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  • Professor Thongchai Winichakul
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Dr Ben Tran
    Vanderbilt University, USA
  • Dr Sarah Weiss
    Yale-NUS College, Singapore
  • Dr Jack Yeager
    Louisiana State University, USA
  • Professor Peter Zinoman
    University of California at Berkeley, USA

September 2015 issue (VOL 23, NO 3)

289 ASEAN Plus Three financial regionalism: Indonesia’s responses

Eko N.M. Saputro

303 The klebun, the kiai and the blater: notes from western Madura, Indonesia

Yanwar Pribadi

319 The media and subnational authoritarianism in Papua

Ross Tapsell

335 Re-examining self-reliance: collective and individual self-making in rural Thailand since the 1980s

Pongphisoot Busbarat and Simon Creak

357 Thailand’s politics of politeness: Qualities of a Gentleman and the making of ‘Thai manners’

Patrick Jory

377 ‘Voices’ from the UNTAC files: policy and politics of accommodation in Phnom Penh after the Khmer Rouge

Thomas Kolnberger

405 China’s role in the Cambodian energy sector: catalyst or antagonist for development?

Heng Pheakdey

423 Remembering Philippine history: satire in popular songs

Jocelyn C. Pinzon

Book reviews

443 Human Rights and State Security: Indonesia and the Philippines, by Anja Jetschke
(reviewed by Geoffrey Robinson)
447 Women’s Movements and the Filipina 1986–2008, by Mina Roces
(reviewed by Imelda Deinla)

Title: ASEAN Plus Three financial regionalism: Indonesia’s responses

Author(s): Eko N.M. Saputro

Abstract: In recent years, financial cooperation within ASEAN Plus Three (APT) has made significant progress. It has covered bond market development, better access to financing, financial stabilization and capital market harmonization, and several initiatives have resulted in concrete programmes being implemented by the APT member countries (ASEAN states, China, South Korea and Japan). In the context of the changes taking place in the regional dynamic, this paper examines the role and involvement of Indonesian financial authorities towards the development of APT financial regionalism, focusing on issues related to regional liquidity arrangements and regional bond markets. The initial findings indicate that, in considering the potential benefits of warding off future economic shocks, there is a strong intention among Indonesian financial authorities to create a space in their national framework for regional liquidity arrangements. However, the authorities are unenthusiastic about the progress of regional governance on bond markets and, for that reason, are disinclined to transform their national regulatory space as it potentially hampers the Indonesian domestic market.

Read the full article here

Title: The klebun, the kiai and the blater: notes from western Madura, Indonesia

Authors: Yanwar Pribadi

Abstract:By exploring the sources of authority, the characteristics, the socio-political world, the roles and the relationships between village leaders, this paper shows that there have been only a few changes in local politics in western Madura, Indonesia, since the 1998 political reformation. In fact, despite the continual reformation processes, the circumstances of local politics in that area have remained relatively similar and have actually been characterized by continuity. There, local politics has been an arena of typical local leaders: the klebun (village heads), the kiai (religious leaders) and the blater (local strongmen). The struggle for influence within these village elites is centred not only on opportunities for private material benefits, but also on political competition, which is loosely organized, pragmatic and often mutually beneficial in nature. These village elites’ continuous presence in the post-Suharto period is without doubt a reflection and a consequence of their constant influence over society.

Read the full article here

Title: The media and subnational authoritarianism in Papua

Author(s): Ross Tapsell

Abstract: This article examines the hindrances to journalists’ autonomy in the Papua provinces of Indonesia. It argues that media practitioners in Papua are operating in a subnational authoritarian environment, where the freedoms enjoyed by journalists elsewhere in Indonesia’s largely robust media are not afforded to local journalists. The article explains that security forces and local government are the main factors influencing mainstream news content in the region. Yet, as Internet penetration rises and new communication technologies are advanced, new online journalism ventures are gaining in prominence. Their success will depend on whether subnational authoritarianism remains the status quo in a region where new local media ventures are largely unable to provide open and critical coverage of events and issues.

Read the full article here

Title: Re-examining self-reliance: collective and individual self-making in rural Thailand since the 1980s

Author(s): Pongphisoot Busbarat and Simon Creak

Abstract: Self-reliance sprang to prominence in Thailand in the 1980s in response to the socioeconomic upheavals of development, globalization and rural transformation. Whereas debates over self-reliance have tended to be polemical, with scholars critiquing its idealistic, nationalist and anti-market features, this article considers the divergent meanings of self-reliance. Redirecting attention from a collective idea of the ‘self’ based on motifs of the self-sufficient village and nation, to individual self-making, the authors argue that self-reliance can equally refer to an entrepreneurial ethic of maximizing one’s potential under conditions of rapid rural transformation through active and pragmatic engagement with the market and the state. After introducing the collective and individual faces of self-reliance, the article presents a content analysis of Theknoloyi Chaoban (Villager Technology), a magazine founded in the late 1980s to promote self-reliance among farmers. As a repository of practical handbook knowledge, the magazine encourages village self-sufficiency and national self-sourcing alongside commercial and state-based strategies for boosting productivity, thus illuminating the complex realities of rural transformation and self-making in Thailand since the 1980s.

Read the full article here

Title: Thailand’s politics of politeness: Qualities of a Gentleman and the making of ‘Thai manners’

Author(s): Patrick Jory

Abstract: Appropriate personal conduct has long been intrinsic to notions of Thai national identity. Thailand has an especially large corpus of didactic works on proper manners. Formerly, one of the major sources of ideas about bodily comportment was Theravada Buddhism. From the late nineteenth century, however, another genre of literature on manners began to appear, written to instruct students in the newly established modern education system about the personal qualities necessary for a career in the expanding royal bureaucracy. This article examines the most famous of these didactic texts, Qualities of a Gentleman, written by the prominent educational reformer Chaophraya Phrasadet Surentharathibodi (1867–1916). Largely as a result of this work, the royal official became the new exemplar of proper social behaviour in Thai society. With the conservative political turn and the restoration of the monarchy in the late 1950s, the work was revived, and the social etiquette it taught was reproduced as the model not only for government officials, but for Thai citizens generally.

Read the full article here

Title: ‘Voices’ from the UNTAC files: policy and politics of accommodation in Phnom Penh after the Khmer Rouge

Author(s): Thomas Kolnberger

Abstract: During the 1980s, refugee camps along the Thai–Cambodian border constituted the power base for the civil war parties opposing the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK, 1979–91). Politics of accommodation and basic services also played a key role in the ‘original accumulation’ of political power by the new regime in Phnom Penh. The resettlement process of Cambodia’s deserted cities developed into a major playground for clientelism, the foundation of Cambodia’s state-building process after the Khmer Rouge. Focusing on the archival heritage of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) 1992–93, a spatial analysis of Phnom Penh’s political geography from the late 1970s to the late 1990s will be provided. This paper argues that the UNTAC time marked a watershed, whose impact has been underrated for Cambodia’s political future: the transition in the accommodation policy of a besieged regime. UNTAC did not end the civil war, but changed the political economy of the country. As the need to ‘camp-in’ and share billeted living space gradually diminished, the socialist ‘moral economy’ mutated into quick money politics and political family business to ensure the hegemonic status of Cambodia’s ruling party further.

Read the full article here

Title: China’s role in the Cambodian energy sector: catalyst or antagonist for development?

Author(s): Heng Pheakdey

Abstract: China is the largest foreign investor in Cambodia’s energy sector where its multi-million- dollar investment is transforming the country’s energy sector, helping to reduce reliance on foreign energy, increase the electrification rate and potentially reduce energy costs. However, Chinese-funded energy projects, particularly hydropower dams, have encountered widespread suspicion and harsh criticism for failing to meet international standards and for imposing social and environmental damage. Combining site visits, in-depth interviews and comprehensive desk research, this paper examines Cambodia’s energy challenges and critically analyses China’s controversial role in the energy sector using a sustainable development framework. The paper provides significant insight into the link between energy and sustainable development, and directly contributes to the formation of a sustainable energy policy for Cambodia.

Read the full article here

Title: Remembering Philippine history: satire in popular songs

Author(s): Jocelyn C. Pinzon

Abstract: This paper examines how specific historical narratives of the Philippines are remembered in the domain of popular music. Using popular songs written by Filipino folk pop singer Yoyoy Villame about the discovery of the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, it analyses the lyrics of ‘Magellan’ (1972) and ‘Diklamasyon’ (1999) as cultural text and interprets them in the light of concepts from literature, language and history. Using Benedict Anderson’s (1983) ‘imagined communities’, the study puts forward two ways of remembering the nation’s history – the textbook and folk tradition. It shows that satire, facilitated through parody, burlesque, irony and code-switching as rhetorical devices, is a mode for remembering the nation.

Read the full article here

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