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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

June 2015 issue (VOL 23, NO 2)

Book reviews

263 Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World, by E.K. Tan
(reviewed by Elizabeth Chandra)
265 Explaining Collective Violence in Contemporary Indonesia: From Conflict to Cooperation, by Mohammad Zulfan Tadjoeddin
(reviewed by Anne Booth)
268 The Malaysian Islamic Party PAS 1951–2013: Islamism in a Mottled Nation, by Farish A. Noor
(reviewed by Jason Abbott)
273 Modern Muslim Identities: Negotiating Religion and Ethnicity in Malaysia, by Gerhard Hoffstaedter
(reviewed by Kikue Hamayotsu)
276 Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Art: An Anthology, edited by Nora A. Taylor and Boreth Ly
(reviewed by Farouk Yahya)
278 Faith and the State: A History of Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia, by Amelia Fauzia
(reviewed by Robert W. Hefner)

284 Corrigendum

Title: Porous enclaves: blurred boundaries and incomplete exclusion in South East Asian cities

Author(s): Erik Harms

Abstract: Cities across Asia are increasingly dotted with large, upmarket, seemingly homogeneous and avowedly exclusive master-planned, mixed-use housing and commercial developments. From an outsider’s perspective, these projects appear starkly uniform and to have been imposed on urban landscapes with little attempt to integrate them into local social, cultural and economic contexts. Recent research in South East Asia, however, shows how these developments are not in fact hermetically sealed from the surrounding world. Instead, they may be productively understood as ‘porous enclaves’, spaces marked not only by exclusion but by social interaction that cuts across the interfaces of inside and outside, public and private, city and country and local and foreign – all categories presumed to be kept separate in many modern city plans. This introductory article to this special issue on ‘Porous enclaves’ highlights new research at the interface of the porous city and the enclave, and calls on urban studies scholars to pay close attention to the social life within and among the porous enclaves that have emerged in South East Asia.

Read the full article here

Title: Exporting Indonesian urbanism: Ciputra and the developmental vision of market modernism

Author(s): Michael Leaf

Abstract: Critical writing on ‘new town’ developments on the edge of Asian cities emphasizes such negative effects as increased social segregation and exclusion, fragmentation of urban services, upward pressure on peri-urban land prices and loss of productive farmland. While not disputing such critical perspectives, this paper seeks to understand the position of one of Indonesia’s pre-eminent developers and new town builders in the overall context of Indonesian development and the ongoing internationalization of real estate development in the region. The developer, known as Ciputra, has long been regarded as a pioneer in the development of Indonesia’s real estate industry in general and new town development in particular. This paper examines how Ciputra’s work as a developer intersects with the developmentalist goals and efforts of the Indonesian state and how many of these projects, which are commonly understood as exclusive enclaves, may be interpreted as a form of development which may be described as ‘market modernism’. Pursuing this analysis, the paper then looks at Ciputra’s efforts to internationalize this work and considers where it might fit with notions of national development elsewhere and how it may or may not engage with the transborder expansion of capitalist relations and the increasing commoditization of the Asian city.

Read the full article here

Title: The shifting demographics of the serviced apartment industry in South East Asia

Author(s): Max Hirsh

Abstract: Over the past 30 years, serviced apartment complexes have become one of the defining architectural typologies of Asian urbanization. Relatively unknown before the 1980s, these complexes are designed to accommodate foreign business people, knowledge workers and students for a fixed period, typically three to six months. The rapid expansion of serviced apartments testifies to the substantial increase in the number of people who are working, training and studying outside their home countries, and provides physical evidence of the impact of these short-term populations on the urban fabric of South East Asian cities. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork conducted in Bangkok and Singapore, the paper posits shifts in the design and use of serviced apartments as a useful lens for investigating both the emergence of a geographically mobile middle class and the increase in temporary housing types to meet its residential needs.

Read the full article here

Title: Reclaiming rights to the socialist city: bureaucratic artefacts and the affective appeal of petitions

Author(s): Christina Schwenkel

Abstract: A long history of war and revolution in the industrial city of Vinh has perpetuated cycles of mass destruction followed by urban renewal. This paper examines citizen responses to the shift from post-war socialist urbanization that sought to eradicate inequality to post-reform city planning that advocates private property. It asks: how do urban residents at risk of relocation articulate their rights to the post-socialist city? Tracing the use and circulation of bureaucratic artefacts between citizens, developers and the state, it shows how government documents, far from being mere tools of state regulation, are productive of active, participatory subjectivities and a growing sense of moral–political agency. This agency manifests itself in the collective act of petitioning through which residents contest urban redevelopment and the withdrawal of the state by employing the language of tình cảm (sentiment) as an affective tool and logic of bureaucratic rationality.

Read the full article here

Title: What you see is not always what you know: struggles against re-containment and the capacities to remake urban life in Jakarta’s majority world

Author(s): AbdouMaliq Simone

Abstract: Although Jakarta seems to follow in the footsteps of other major Asian cities in its determination to flood the city with mega-developments, there are hesitations and interruptions along this seemingly smooth path. In the majority world, the onus of developing a viable place in the city largely fell to residents themselves, who then proceeded to elaborate intricate social and economic architectures of collaboration whose logics and operations were not easily translatable into the predominant categorizations employed by urban elites and authorities. These elites then attempted to disentangle these relationships, prioritizing the need for visibility, even as their own methods for retaining control were, themselves, usually opaque. This article explores how these ambiguous modalities of visibility are being reworked in contemporary Jakarta.

Read the full article here

Title: Local integration experiments in the new urban areas of Hanoi

Author(s): Danielle Labbé and Julie-Anne Boudreau

Abstract: In the peri-urban zones of many South East Asian cities, capital has flowed into the development of new, middle class urban enclaves. A significant body of scholarship sees these places as embodying some of the worst elements of American-style suburban, gated communities: sterile, disconnected from their surroundings, isolating wealthy people from the surrounding urban life, etc. While it is no doubt true that such a negative view is frequently warranted, through a closer examination of two projects in peri-urban Hanoi, the authors show that Vietnam’s new urban enclaves can hardly be assimilated into the hermetically sealed enclaves described in much of the critical literature. The study cases from Hanoi reveal much more porosity: a strong influence of traditional modes of housing production and allocation, a mixing of built forms and the integration of the new enclaves into the surrounding communities.

Read the full article here

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