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Picture of Culture, Identity and Religion in Southeast Asia

Culture, Identity and Religion in Southeast Asia

Editor(s): Alistair D. B. Cook

Book Description

"I have read the draft of this book sent to me by the editor. After reading this draft, I do think this book is valuable and timely. It discusses the contemporary issues that have worried many people in the present world: terrorism, human rights, Islamic radicalism and the problem of identity in the Singaporean capitalism. These issues are not discussed in the theoretical/abstract way (it also doesn't meant that theories are not discussed at all), but in the context of various concrete societies. The book deals with one of the above issues in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (Aceh and Sumenep in Madura). Each issue is written by a different author that has studied the issue thoroughly. So, the book is a collection of research done by specialists of these issues. Two essays on Southeast Asia (one on health and the other on human security) give the general picture of this region, acting as a broad introduction of the chapters that follow. Each chapter has been written professionally and the readers will learn many things from each of them. One has to read the chapter in order to really appreciate them. Therefore I really recommend that this manuscript to be published as a book in order to get a large audience. One shortcoming though, this book deals with three countries only
(Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia), albeit these three are the important countries in the region. Other important Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Burma are not discussed individually. With the omission of these countries, it thus can be argued whether this book can represent the Southeast Asian region? Also in dealing with Indonesia, the chapters talk on sub-national level, namely on Aceh province and a peripheral city Sumenep in the island of Madura, East Java, while Malaysia and Singapore are dealt on the level of nation state. To conclude, even with these shortcomings, this book is still valuable.
Therefore I would like to recommend it be published."

—Arief Budiman, Foundation Professor of Indonesian, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne, Australia


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8328-6
ISBN-10: 1-84718-328-X
Date of Publication: 01/11/2007
Pages / Size: 130 / A5
Price: £29.99


Alistair D. B. Cook is Editor-in-cheif of the Melbourne Journal of Politics and a PhD Candidate at The University of Melbourne researching forced migration in Southeast Asia. He is an Associate Researcher for Researchers for Asylum Seekers, and was previously an Associate Researcher for the Social Research Institute, Purdue University. He holds degrees from the University of St Andrews, Scotland and Purdue University, USA.