Recent Issue – Vol 83, No 3, September 2010

Routes of Identity: Malay Liverpool and the limits of transnationalism

By Tim Bunnell

Keywords: Malay seafarers, oral histories, life geographies, identity, transnationalism, Southeast Asia

Rather than focusing on either bounded conceptions of migrant assimilation or unbounded transnational linkages, this paper situates migrant experiences in broader “routes of identity.” In the case of Malay ex-seamen in Liverpool, UK, all of whom are now in their seventies or eighties, this has meant tracing life geographies extending back well over half a century. During the middle decades of the twentieth century when these men arrived in Liverpool, the city was a major seaport with longstanding maritime connections to Southeast Asia and across the Pacific. Drawing upon fieldwork carried out in Liverpool and Southeast Asia between 2003 and 2008, the paper gives attention to four geographical dimensions of the shifting identities of Liverpool-based Malay ex-seamen: (1) the always-already fluid and mobile nature of their identifications which preceded long-distance migration; (2) shifting political geographies of identity (re)formation, particularly the establishment of post-colonial national boundaries which cut across prior modes of identification; (3) historically variable constitutive geographies of long-distance interconnection, most notably the transition from maritime socioeconomic networks to a post-maritime period; and (4) social sites through which individual and collective identities are emplaced. The intention is to sketch these four different dimensions in such a way as to allow them to speak critically to issues of transnationalism and migrant identity beyond the specific case of Malays in Liverpool.
(En Français) (Chinese)

Mobility Decision-Making and New Diasporic Spaces: Conceptualizing Korean Diasporas in the Post-Soviet Space

By Igor Saveliev

Keywords: Russian Koreans, Sakhalin Koreans, Korean diaspora, diasporic space, post-authoritarian society, mobility decision-making

Over half a million ethnic Koreans found themselves in the post-Soviet states after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Caught up in the political and economic transformation of these countries, they faced the necessity of constructing their own strategies for survival and resettlement. Briefly explaining the formation of Russian Koreans’ primary diasporas in their historical context and focusing on the diasporians’ mobility in the post-Soviet era, this study will show how the destruction of the constraints of the authoritarian period together with the collapse of the regime itself affects diasporas and enlarges the spaces available to them. Addressing the issue of the diaporians’ relationship to place and space, this article attempts to contribute to the conceptualization of the construction of new diasporic spaces and the discussion of mobility decision making, suggesting that diasporians, who had been long deprived by various constraints of the right to choose their place of residence, have comparatively high mobility and construct newer, much more sophisticated and far-flung diasporic layers.
(En Français) (Chinese)

The Ascendance of Bureaucratic Islam and the Secularization of the Sharia in Malaysia

By Maznah Mohamad

Keywords: Malaysia, Islamization in Malaysia, Sharia law, Islamic bureaucracy, Bureaucratic Islam, Secularization

Malaysia’s trend of mounting religiosity should not be seen as merely stemming from political rivalry between its two biggest Muslim parties (UMNO and PAS) but also from another source, its Sharia-aspiring bureaucracy. The hegemony of this religious bureaucracy is based on its power as arbiter of the “right” or official Islam and its oversight over Sharia laws and Islamic public institutions. Insulated from voters’ displeasure and, to a large extent through its strategy of invoking the immutability of Sharia, this bureaucracy has emerged as the lynchpin of Malaysia’s state-driven Islamization. But even as Sharia proponents disavow secularism, the essence of Islamic legal and bureaucratic transformation is closer to a secularized adaptation than to a process of desecularization. Furthermore, as much as the bureaucracy is seemingly unstoppable, it is far from being fully stabilized as it confronts a dissenting section of the Muslim middle class who are also keen to capture the discursive, but highly fortified legal space of “authentic” Islam occupied by this bureaucracy. Ultimately, what surfaces in Islam’s politicization is the contestation between a secularized Sharia bureaucracy and its juridical subjects, rather than a desecularization movement.
(En Français) (Chinese)

Anticipating an Oil Boom: The “Resource Curse” Thesis in the Play of Cambodian Politics image of small children

By Andrew Cock

Keywords: foreign aid, policy reform, resource curse thesis, oil boom, Cambodia’s ruling elite, Hun Sen

By mid-decade, Cambodia will likely begin production of offshore oil fields containing an estimated 700 million to two billion barrels of oil and significant quantities of natural gas. This long anticipated event has prompted considerable discussion of whether petroleum-derived wealth will be a blessing or a curse. Much of the discussion has been framed through the lens of the “resource curse” thesis. The purpose of this article is to consider how the notion of a resource curse has entered the Cambodian political arena and to examine the questions it has prompted Cambodia’s ruling elite and external actors to ask concerning the management of petroleum resources. Based on a systematic examination of the evolution of government policy, and of external attempts to shape its development, I show how warnings of a “resource curse” have come to be deployed in different ways by reform promoting aid donors, civil society groups, and the ruling elite. The article concludes by noting that while these warnings have helped to highlight risks associated with the rapid exploitation of petroleum resources, little will or capacity exists either domestically or internationally to transcend technical fixes to the pathologies of petroleum revenue wealth and to press for a more transparent exploitation regime.
(En Français) (Chinese)

Books Reviewed In This Issue

Asia General

WHOSE IDEAS MATTER? Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism. By Amitav Acharya. Reviewed by Hiroyuki Hoshiro

GOVERNANCE AND REGIONALISM IN ASIA. Edited by Nicholas Thomas. Reviewed by Jing Huang

TRANSFORMING ASIAN GOVERNANCE: Rethinking Assumptions, Challenging Practices. Edited by M. Ramesh and Scott Fritzen.
Reviewed by Andrew Rosser

COPING WITH FACTS: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Problem of Development. By Adam Fforde. Reviewed by John Thoburn

THE NEXT FRONTIER: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia. By David T. Johnson and Franklin E. Zimring.
Reviewed by Sangmin Bae

US-ASIA ECONOMIC RELATIONS: A Political Economy of Crisis and the Rise of New Business Actors. By Justin Robertson. Reviewed by Denis Fred Simon

ALONG THE ARCHIVAL GRAIN: Epistemic Anxieties and Colonial Common Sense. By Ann Laura Stoler. Reviewed by Julian Go

HUMAN SECURITY IN EAST ASIA: Challenges for Collaborative Action. Edited by Sorpong Peou. Reviewed by Geun Lee

HUMAN BELIEFS AND VALUES IN EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA IN TRANSITION: 13 Country Profiles on the Basis of the AsiaBarometer Surveys of 2006 and 2007. Edited by Takashi Inoguchi. Reviewed by Gordon Mathews

EAST ASIAN REGIONALISM FROM A LEGAL PERSPECTIVE: Current Features and a Vision for the Future. Edited by Tamio Nakamura.
Reviewed by Hiro Katsumata

ASIA ON TOUR: Exploring the Rise of Asian Tourism. Edited by Tim Winter, Peggy Teo and T.C. Chang. Reviewed by Chris Ryan

Reviewed by Jaewoo Choo

GENDER AND GLOBALIZATION IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: Method, Practice, Theory. Edited by Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco.
Reviewed by Keiko Yamanaka


China and Inner Asia

CHINA AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL ORDER. Edited by Wang Gungwu and Zheng Yongnian. Reviewed by André Laliberté

ASSOCIATIONS AND THE CHINESE STATE: Contested Spaces. Edited by Jonathan Unger. By Bruce J. Dickson. Reviewed by Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard

DEMOCRACY IS A GOOD THING: Essays on Politics, Society, and Culture in Contemporary China. By Yu Keping. Reviewed by Thomas Heberer

CAPITALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS: Entrepreneurship and the State. By Yasheng Huang. Reviewed by George Lin

MANAGED CHAOS: The Fragility of the Chinese Miracle. By Prem Shankar Jha. Reviewed by Dali L. Yang

STATE AND SOCIETY RESPONSES TO SOCIAL WELFARE NEEDS IN CHINA: Serving the People. Edited by Jonathan Schwartz and Shawn Shieh.
Reviewed by Sophia Woodman

CHINA’S INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION: Social Changes and State Responses. Edited by Xiaoling Zhang and Yongnian Zheng. By Yinghong Cheng. Reviewed by Barrett L. McCormick

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS IN CHINA: Politics of Piracy, Trade and Protection. By Gordon C.K. Cheung. Reviewed by Andrew Mertha

PIRACY AND THE STATE: The Politics on Intellectual Property Rights in China. By Martin K. Dimitrov. Reviewed by Andrew Mertha

TOURISM IN CHINA: Destination, Cultures and Communities. Edited by Chris Ryan and Gu Huimin. Reviewed by Jack Patrick Hayes

THE CHINESE EXOTIC: Modern Diasporic Femininity. By Olivia Khoo. By Grace S. Fong. Reviewed by Katie Willis

RISE OF THE RED ENGINEERS: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class. By Joel Andreas. Reviewed by Suzanne Pepper

THE POLITICS OF CROSS-BORDER CRIME IN GREATER CHINA: Case Studies of Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. By Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo.
Reviewed by Harold Traver

GLOBAL SHANGHAI, 1850-2010: A History in Fragments. By Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom. Reviewed by Samuel Y. Liang

HONG KONG MOBILE: Making a Global Population. Edited by Helen F. Siu and Agnes S. Ku. Reviewed by Ming K. Chan


MODERN TIBETAN LITERATURE AND SOCIAL CHANGE. Edited by Lauran R. Hartley and Patricia Schiaffi ni-Vedani; foreword by Matthew T. Kapstein. Reviewed by Robert Barnett

CHINA’S AFRICAN CHALLENGES. By Sarah Raine. Reviewed by Douglas Yates

TELEVISION IN POST-REFORM CHINA: Serial Dramas, Confucian Leadership and the Global Television Market. By Ying Zhu. Reviewed by Yuezhi Zhao


Northeast Asia

BUSINESS INNOVATION IN ASIA: Knowledge and Technology Networks from Japan. By Dennis McNamara. Reviewed by Michael Carney

WOMEN AND THE LABOUR MARKET IN JAPAN’S INDUSTRIALISING ECONOMY: The Textile Industry Before the Pacific War. By Janet Hunter.
Reviewed by Carl Mosk

CITIES, AUTONOMY, AND DECENTRALIZATION IN JAPAN. Edited by Carola Hein and Philippe Pelletier. Reviewed by Paul Waley

HISTORY EDUCATION AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: A Case Study of Diplomatic Disputes over Japanese Textbooks. By Mutsumi Hirano. Reviewed by Philip Seaton

IMAGINED FAMILIES, LIVED FAMILIES: Culture and Kinship in Contemporary Japan. Edited by Akiko Hashimoto and John W. Traphagan.
Reviewed by Amy Borovoy

THE MODERN FAMILY IN JAPAN: Its Rise and Fall. By Chizuko Ueno. Reviewed by Barbara Holthus-Wiecking

GOING GLOBAL: Culture, Gender, and Authority in the Japanese Subsidiary of an American Corporation. By Ellen V. Fuller. Reviewed by Kuniko Ishiguro

JAPANESE TOURISM AND TRAVEL CULTURE. Edited by Sylvie Guichard-Anguis and Okpyo Moon. Reviewed by Sidney Cheung

OTAKU: Japan’s Database Animals. By Hiroki Azuma; translated by Jonathan E. Abel and Shion Kono. Reviewed by Cosima Wagner

JAPAN’S HOLY WAR: The Ideology of Radical Shinto Ultranationalism. By Walter A. Skya. Reviewed by Christopher W.A. Szpilman

PROPHET MOTIVE: Deguchi Onisaburo, Oomoto, and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan. By Nancy K. Stalker. Reviewed by Peter Clarke

SHOTS IN THE DARK: Japan, Zen, and the West. By Shoji Yamada; translated by Earl Hartman. Reviewed by John Sojun Godfrey

CHINA AND JAPAN IN THE LATE MEIJI PERIOD: China Policy and the Japanese Discourse on National Identity, 1895-1904. By Urs Matthias Zachmann. Reviewed by Rustin Gates

CAPITALIST DEVELOPMENT IN KOREA: Labour, Capital and the Myth of the Developmental State. By Dae-oup Chang Reviewed by Iain Pirie

POLITICAL PROTEST AND LABOR SOLIDARITY IN KOREA: White-Collar Labor Movements after Democratization (1987-1995). By Doowon Suh.
Reviewed by Jennifer Chun

THERE A PETAL SILENTLY FALLS: Three Stories. By Ch’oe Yun; translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton. Reviewed by David McCann

THE IMPACT OF GLOBALIZATION ON JAPAN’S PUBLIC POLICY: How the Government is Reshaping Japan’s Role in the World. Edited by Hiroshi Itoh. Reviewed by Richard Leitch

JAPANAMERICA: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S. By Ronald Kelts. Reviewed by Kukhee Choo


South Asia

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN SOUTH ASIA: Search for an Alternative Paradigm. Edited by Navnita Chadha Behera. Reviewed by T.V. Paul

LANGUAGE, EMOTION, AND POLITICS IN SOUTH INDIA: The Making of a Mother Tongue. By Lisa Mitchell. Reviewed by Chris J. Fuller

STRONG RELIGION, ZEALOUS MEDIA: Christian Fundamentalism and Communication in India. Reviewed by David Mosse


Southeast Asia

[RE]NEGOTIATING EAST AND SOUTHEAST ASIA: Region, Regionalism, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. By Alice D. Ba.
Reviewed by Donald Crone

SECURITY AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA: Towards a Co-operative Management Regime. Edited by Sam Bateman and Ralf Emmers. Reviewed by Harsh V. Pant

THE CITY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: Patterns, Processes and Policy. By Peter J. Rimmer and Howard Dick. Reviewed by Terry G. McGee

THE GOLDEN TRIANGLE: Inside Southeast Asia’s Drug Trade. By Ko-Lin Chin. Reviewed by Rebecca McKetin

TOURISM IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: Challenges and New Directions. Edited by Michael Hitchcock, Victor T. King and Michael Parnwell.
Reviewed by Tou Chuang Chang

PHAN CHÂU TRINH AND HIS POLITICAL WRITINGS. By Phan Châu Trinh; translated and edited by Vinh Sinh. Reviewed by Liam Kelley

TOURS OF VIETNAM: War, Travel Guides, and Memory. By Scott Laderman. Reviewed byVictor Alneng

DEEPENING DEMOCRACY IN INDONESIA?: Direct Elections for Local Leaders (Pilkada). Edited by Maribeth Erb and Priyambudi Sulistiyanto.
Reviewed by R. William Liddle

THE STATE IN MYANMAR. By Robert H. Taylor.
Reviewed by Yoshihiro Nakanishi

BUILDING THE TATMADAW: Myanmar Armed Forces Since 1948. By Maung Aung Myoe. Reviewed by Josef Silverstein

FIERY DRAGONS: Banks, Moneylenders and Microfinance in Burma. By Sean Turnell. Reviewed by Tomoko Fuda

CONFLICT, VIOLENCE, AND DISPLACEMENT IN INDONESIA. Edited by Eva-Lotta E. Hedman. Reviewed by Ariel Heryanto

BROKERING A REVOLUTION: Cadres in a Philippine Maria Josephine Insurgency. Edited by Rosanne Rutten. Reviewed by Maria Josephine Barrios-Leblanc


Australasia and the Pacific Region


MARGARET MEAD: The Making of an American Icon. By Nancy C. Lutkehaus. Reviewed by Penelope Schoeffel Meleisea

JOURNEYS TOWARDS PROGRESS: Essays of a Geographer on Development and Change in Oceania. By Ray Watters; Edited by Ginny Sullivan.
Reviewed by Susan Farran
PHOTOGRAPHY AND AUSTRALIA. By Helen Ennis. Reviewed by Joshua A. Bell

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