Unity-in-Diversity? Regional Identity-building in Southeast Asia
The aim of this paper is to discuss the issue of regional integration and regional identity-building in Southeast Asia. The idea is to problematise the quest for a regional identity by relating the efforts of integration to the issues of multi-ethnicity, national identity-building and multicultural societies in times of globalisation. The article consists of three broad themes intending to capture the complexity of regional identity-building: regionalism and regional cooperation; tensions by diversity; and dilemmas of regional identity-building in multi-ethnic societies illustrated by Laos and Burma/ Myanmar. This analysis is explorative in character and attempts to combine different bodies of literature in order to better understand some of the contradictory processes related to regional identity-building in Southeast Asia. A tentative conclusion is that without an accommodating, inclusive and pluralistic society, the creation of a common regional identity will remain an elitist political project.
Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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