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  • SEASREP new publication on the Mekong: The Mekong: Arranged and Rearranged (edited by Maria Serena Diokno and Nguyen Van Chinh, Mekong Press:2006) . For more details, visit the Mekong Press.

  • Book Review

    Annotated Bibliography on the Mekong

    Charnvit Kasetsiri & Chris Baker (editors): Annotated Bibliography on the Mekong. Published by Mekong Press, Chiang Mai 2008, 318 pages. A Book Review by Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai (27.09.2008)

    This eagerly awaited publication has been made possible by the Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program (SEASREP) Foundation and the illustrious Rockefeller Foundation based in Bangkok. "The mighty Mekong River is vast, abundant, mysterious, alluring, and fragile." How true this introduction in the book's preface rings, the author of this book review has experienced during Expedition Mekong 2002, which covered the navigable river's flow from its Simao Port in China's Yunnan Province to its nine-headed delta in the southern part of Vietnam. The Mekong River has been imagined as a great dragon or "naga" and a route for Europeans into China during the heydays of colonialism. That is why a cover illustration of the book was chosen from Louis Delaporte and Francis Garnier's "A Pictorial Journey on the Old Mekong: Cambodia, Laos and Yunnan" (Reprinted, Bangkok: White Lotus, 1998).

    Surely, this work on the "Mekong" had a myriad of contributors, but the edition of this comprehensive and useful annotated bibliography is the sole merit of Dr. Charnvit Kasetsiri, a distinguished historian and former Rector of Bangkok's Thammasat University, and Chris Baker, a well-known author, analyst and translator.

    The book's contents are divided into a preface and six chapters, with one copy of a United Nations Map from January 2004. It concentrates on works published since 1950, favours works that transcend national borders, focuses on themes of current importance, and heavily draws on inputs from scholars based in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), comprising the six countries of China (Yunnan, Guangxi), Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Furthermore, the book includes works in English, French (but not German), and even Japanese.

    In Chapter 1 of the book, is the scope of the bibliography and the mentioned works are divided into sections of books and monographs, journal articles and book chapters - the same as in all other following chapters. First, there are works about history and archaeology, followed by arts, religion, literature and folklore, textiles and costume, food and cooking, linguistics, and last not least - ethnography.

    Chapter 2 highlights and the mentioned works are on land and land use, geography, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mineral exploitation, irrigation, and lastly - environment, while Chapter 3 focuses on , especially economic co-operation, trade and investment, infrastructure and transportation, and tourism.

    Of general contemporary interest in Chapter 4 are the works on that appear under the headings of labour and migration, trafficking, gender, poverty alleviation, education, and health, including the HIV/AIDS epidemic in some of the countries of Southeast Asia. Finally, Chapter 5 focuses on under the headings of conflict and co-operation as well as security issues.

    Other subjects are handled in the last Chapter 6, such as bibliographies, leading journals, multimedia (Hohler, Reinhard on p.278), web-sites, such as the site of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) on p.289, as well as organisations and institutions, which are involved in the development of the Mekong River. One of the most important organisations here is the Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquartered in Manila, Philippines or the institution of the Australian Mekong Resource Centre (AMRC) based at the School of Geo-Sciences, University of Sydney, NSW Australia.

    To sum it up, this book contains an outmost useful annotated bibliography on "Mekong River" studies and should encourage scholars and students alike to dig even deeper into this prominent geographical river phenomenon, which has recently become a "development corridor" being the "lifeline" of different peoples in six different countries. Such as the Rhine River in Europe, it should be promoted and protected accordingly. Also, the new book should not be missed in any library with books about Southeast Asia and Indochina, the world's most important crossroads of cultures and religions.

    Thanks must go to Trasvin Jittidecharak in Chiang Mai to publish this book under the label "Mekong Press" that was initiated in 2005 by "Silkworm Books" to encourage and support the work of local scholars and writers in the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. For further information, please go to: www.mekongpress.com

    Reinhard Hohler
    GMS Media Travel Consultant
    85 Suthep Road Soi 5,
    Chiang Mai 50200
    Mobile: 0066-8-91210268
    E-mail:sara@cmnet.co.th
    Web-site:www.sara-travel.com


    State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia Fatally Belonging

    Ariel Heryanto

    Approximately one million innocent Indonesians were killed by their fellow nationals, neighbours and kin at the height of an anti-communist campaign in the mid-1960s. This book investigates the profound political consequences of these mass killings in Indonesia upon public life in the subsequent decades, highlighting the historical specificities of the violence and comparable incidents of identity politics in more recent times.

    Weaving a balance of theory with an empirically based analysis, the book examines how the spectre of communism and the trauma experienced in the latter half of the 1960s remain critical in understanding the dynamics of terror, coercion and consent today. The book investigates what drove otherwise apolitical subjects to be complicit in the engulfing cycles of witch-hunts. It argues that elements of what began as an anti-communist campaign took on a life of their own, increasingly operating independently of the violence and individual subjects who appeared to be manipulating the campaigns in the 1980s and 1990s.

    Despite the profound importance of the 1965-6 events, it remains one of the most difficult and sensitive topics for public discussion in Indonesia today. State Terrorism and Political Identity in Indonesia is one of the first books to fully discuss the problematic representation and impacts of a crucial moment of Indonesia's history that until recently has been largely unspoken.

    For orders, please contact:
    Barry Clarke, Taylor & Francis Asia Pacific
    Tel: +65 6741 5166, Fax: +65 6742 9356
    Email: Barry.clarke@tandf.com.sg, info@tandf.com.sg


    KASARINLAN: Philippine Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. 19 No. 2 (2004)"Electoral Politics I"


    ARTICLES:

    • Priyambudi Sulistiyanto, "The 2004 General Elections and the Virtues of Indonesian Presidentialism"
    • Marzuki Mohamad, "Malaysia's 2004 General Elections: Spectacular Victory, Continuing Tensions"
    • Narad Bharadwaj, Shiva K. Dhungana, and Bishnu Raj Upreti, "Electoral Bottlenecks and Problems of Governance in Nepal"
    • Laurence Surendra, "Indian Elections 2004: A Retrospective Analysis and Overview"
    • Roberto Verzola, "The True Results of the 2004 Philippine Presidential Election Based on the NAMFREL Tally"

    PROCEEDINGS:

    • Policy Dialogue Series 2004: Academe Meets the Party-List Representatives
    • Twenty-five Years after the Nicaraguan Revolution


    PERSPECTIVES: What is your assessment of the recent elections in your country?

    • Haydee Yorac
    • Joel Rocamora
    • Antoinette Raquiza
    • Roberto Reyes
    • Jan Pospisil and Stefan Khittel
    • Takashi Shiraishi
    • Harsh Sethi

    Price of Kasarinlan issue on "Electoral Politics I" is Php 250.00. Please add Php 100.00 handling/delivery charge within the Philippines. You can order by email kasarinlan@up.edu.ph.


    For those who want to subscribe, please visit http://www.upd.edu.ph/~twsc/publications_kasarinlan-subscription.html for more information.


    Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape


    Leo Suryadinata, Evi Nurvidya Arifin, and Aris Ananta

    This is the first book in English that presents an analysis of basic information contained in the 31 volumes of the official Indonesian census conducted in the year 2000. The 2000 population census is the first comprehensive census since the colonial period in 1930 to include ethnic data.


    2003, 196 pages
    Price
    Soft cover: USD19.90
    Hard cover: USD29.90


    Indonesian Electoral Behaviour: A Statistical Perspective


    Aris Ananta, Evi Nurvidya, Arifin and Leo Suryadinata

    Indonesia's Poulation Series no. 2


    In Indonesia's plural society, ethnicity and religion are often considered as two important independent variables to explain electoral behaviour. Many writers have used qualitative methods to relate the performance of political parties in terms of ethnicity and religion. This book questions these assumptions by looking at data on the 1999 election and the 2000 population census. The authors, researchers from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, statistically examine the strength of the impact of religious and ethnic variables relative to those of socioeconomic variables (education, migration, urbanization, per capita income, and poverty) on the electoral behaviour of the seven major political parties. Their analysis and findings, together with detailed population profiles in terms of religion-ethnicity and socio-economic conditions at the provincial and district levels, throws light on not only the 1999 election but also the forthcoming 2004 election and beyond.


    2004
    Price
    Soft cover: USD23.50
    Hard cover: USD35.50

    The Indonesian Military after the New Order


    Sukari Rinakit

    Because the military is an integral part of Indonesia's power structure, it is of interest to anyone studying Indonesian affairs. Written by a former ghostwriter at the Indonesian Ministries of Home Affairs and Defence (who is privy to the internal dynamics of the military and has personally interviewed such untouchable figures as former President Suharto), this is an up-to-date, well-informed study providing a useful contribution to the literature, particularly with regard to the younger generation of the military.


    Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The Military during the Pre-Reform Period
    3. Towards the New Paradigm
    4. The Military during the Presidency of Abdurrahman Wahid
    5. The Military during Megawati Presidency
    6. Postscript

    2004, 288 pages
    Price: USD22.95

    Personalized Politics: The Malaysian State under Mahathir
    In-Won Hwang

    This book is an innovative analysis of the regime maintenance and transformation in Malaysia. It goes beyond familiar approaches centred on communal politics, or the corporate workings of Malaysia Inc., to stress the importance of power maintenance -- tracing a path from consociational bargaining, to authoritarian UMNO dominance, to Dr. Mahathir's personal dominance.

    2003, 400 pages
    Price
    Soft cover: USD29.90
    Hard cover: USD39.90

    Malaysia: Islam, Society and Politics
    Virginia Hooker and Norani Othman, editors

    This collection of essays has been prepared as a tribute to Clive S. Kessler, Professor of Sociology at the Unviersity of New South Wales for over twenty years and a member of staff of the London School and Economics and Political Science, University of London, and the Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. The essays are divided into three sections: Islam, Society and Politics. Each essay draws on aspects of his published research, taking his insights as points of departure for new studies.

    Contributors. Farish A. Noor, Kikue Hamayotsu, M.B. Hooker, Virginia Matheson Hooker, Joel S. Kahn, Naomi Kronenberg, Amrita Malhi, Anthony MIlner, Norani Othman, Wiiliam R. Roff, Shamsul A.B. and Maila Stivens

    2003, 280 pages
    Price
    Soft cover: USD24.90
    Hard cover: USD39.90

    From British to Bumiputera Rule: Local Politics and Rural Development in Peninsular Malaysia (2nd reprint)
    A.B. Shamsul

    Based on two years of intensive fieldwork, this detailed community study breaks new ground. Combining anthropological and historical disciplines, it deals with village politics amongst rural Malays growing oil-palm and rubber. This study traces the continuing influence of the colonial and post-colonial state policies on contemporary rural development. It shows that village political cleavages are not just the result of modern electoral practices introduced after world War II but are responses to politico-economic events at the national and even international levels. It examines not only inter-party rivalry between the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) but also the intra-porty politics of both organizations at the local level.

    2nd reprint, 2004
    1986, 282 pages
    Price USD26.70

    The 2nd ASEAN Reader
    Sharon Siddique and Sree Kumar, compilers

    The Second ASEAN Reader is a sequel to first ASEAN Reader, published by ISEAS in 1992. Some of the classic readings from the original ASEAN Reader have been incorporated into this new compilation, but the majority of the readings cover the events from 1992 to 2003. During this decade ASEAN as an organization was revamped, and its membership increased from six to ten.

    ASEAN has had to carve a niche in the proliferation of regional associations and bilateral relationships which mark the accelerating era of globalization. The economic pivot point for the decade was certainly the 1997 Asian crisis, while the war on terrorism has had a ripple effect on intra-ASEAN co-operation. ASEAN's resilience and ability to adapt has allowed the organization to navigate on a steady course into the 21st century.

    2003, 604 pages
    Price
    Soft cover: USD39.90
    Hard cover: USD59.90

    For more information on these publications and to view other publications, please visit http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg.

    Journal of Women's History

    The Journal of Women's History is soliciting articles for a special issue on domestic violence, guest edited by Megan McLaughlin and Elizabeth Pleck. They seek manuscripts from the broadest possible chronological, geographical, and methodological range, and from individuals residing around the world. For the purposes of this issue, domestic violence is very broadly defined to mean emotional, physical, and sexual violence occurring within the household, including (but not limited to) female infanticide, servant abuse, marital rape, etc. The editors are especially interested in:

    • the relationship of domestic violence to notions of shame and honor
    • the relationship of domestic violence to public and private space
    • changing attributions of the causes of domestic violence
    • changing representations of domestic violence in popular culture, in law and religion, in media of any type
    • changing definitions of the boundary between acceptable and illegitimate domestic violence
    • the relationship of domestic violence to discourses of power and difference
    • community regulation of domestic violence
    • changing understandings of woman as "victim."

    The deadline for submissions is December 1, 2005. Please send four one-sided, double-spaced copies of your manuscript (no more than 10,000 words, including endnotes and figures) to: Journal of Women's History, c/o Department of History, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, 309 Gregory Hall, MC-466, 810 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801, U.S.A. Mark the envelope "Attention: Megan McLaughlin and Elizabeth Pleck." For more details on our submission policy,


    see: http://www.press.jhu.edu/journals/journal_of_womens_history
    /guidelines.html.
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