Predictions for the future of Southeast Asia on the whole follow two different narratives. On the one hand, ASEAN is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and forty years of interstate peace along with it. The region’s economy is growing at breakneck speed, led by countries like Vietnam and the Philippines. Yet, on the other hand, news reports are filled with stories about scandal and crisis, from Malaysia’s continuing 1MDB scandal, Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial drug war, or the ethnic strife in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Nicholas Gordon interviews Gideon Rachman, author of Easternization: Asia’s Rise and America’s Decline From Obama to Trump and Beyond.
Nicholas Gordon interviews Michael Vatikiotis, author of Blood and Silk.
Whether or not you agree with the arguments of Hong Kong’s student activists, everyone can agree that their emergence has been one of the biggest changes to Hong Kong’s political situation for at least a decade.
The ASEAN Miracle observes that Southeast Asia is the world’s most diverse region. Although obvious once mentioned, it still seems novel. Southeast Asia’s history is a mix of Chinese, Indian and Islamic influences, with sizable populations of several of the world’s major religions. Yet despite this and its complicated colonial and postcolonial history, Southeast Asian countries have fought no major wars between them over the past half-century. The most significant war in Southeast Asia, the Vietnam War, involved an extra regional power: namely, the United States.
Nicholas Gordon interviews Kishore Mahbubani, author of The ASEAN Miracle.
Hong Kong in the Cold War, edited by Priscilla Roberts and John M Carroll, is an academic collection of essays about the city’s history during the first half of the Cold War. The collection can roughly be split into two halves: Hong Kong’s security situation, and its cultural development.