My study examines and compares the roles of diasporic trading networks in the political economy of maritime Southeast Asia between 1816 and 1870, with a special focus on the Malay world region.  It focuses on and compares various Asian trading diasporic networks, such as the Bugis, Chinese, and the Arab Sayids, in Southeast Asia, in terms of their strategies and roles in the political economy of the archipelago before and during the formative period of colonial expansion in Southeast Asia. 

This project is also a study of the maritime world of Southeast Asia, and the impact of the new colonial regimes on this region.  The processes of border-formation (Anglo-Dutch frontier), colonial state-formation, and economic transformation impacted on the structural dynamics of political, economic, and socio-cultural life in the region, especially the role of these diasporic networks. It is ultimately a study of the place of mobility, migration, and the maritime world in the colonial transition.