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Unity-in-Diversity? Regional Identity-building in Southeast Asia

  • Kristina Jönsson

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    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.

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    File URL: http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/jsaa/article/view/261
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    Article provided by Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg in its journal Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 41-72

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    Handle: RePEc:gig:soaktu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:41-72
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    1. Sandra Dudley, 2002. "Local Identities and Global Flows of Objects and Images," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 165-176.
    2. Hemmer, Christopher & Katzenstein, Peter J., 2002. "Why is There No NATO in Asia? Collective Identity, Regionalism, and the Origins of Multilateralism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(03), pages 575-607, June.
    3. Stevenson, Adlai E., 2004. "Regional financial cooperation in Asia," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 837-841, October.
    4. Jasmin Lorch, 2006. "Civil Society under Authoritarian Rule: The Case of Myanmar," Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 25(2), pages 3-38.
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