IIAS-ISEAS Series on Asia

Southeast Asian Studies: Debates and New Directions

Cynthia ChouVincent Houben


"This helpful collection of nine splendid essays, plus the editors' introduction, is based on the proceedings of a conference.... The symposium brings together the distinct perspectives of leading anthropologists, historians, political scientists, and linguists from a broad range of countries. All of the chapters are committed, lively, and well-written; the result, on balance, is an impressive, thoughtful, and at times passionate forum on the future of Southeast Asian studies, both in the region and in the wider world. This monograph certainly leaves the reader with much to ponder; and all the contributors should be thanked for that (Aseasuk News).

"... this book should be required reading for all graduate students in Southeast Asian Studies or anyone working on cross-cultural topics. Especially it should be read by those deciding the future of area studies" (Pacific Affairs).

About the Publication

"What is the relevance of the area studies approach to Southeast Asia?" The current state and future directions of area studies, of which Southeast Asian studies are a part, is a central question not only to scientists working in the field but also those engaged in university politics. This collection of nine articles is written by specialists from different disciplinary backgrounds and working in institutions of higher learning all around the world. It provides an up-to-date insight into the current state of the study field, its strengths and weaknesses and seeks ways to reconfigure Southeast Asian studies in order to meet the challenges of a region that is caught up in profound transformation as a consequence of both globalization and localization.