The State and Ethnic Politics in South-East Asia (Politics by David Brown

By David Brown

Ethnic tensions in Southeast Asia signify a transparent risk to the long run balance of the quarter. David Brown's transparent and systematic research outlines the styles of ethnic politics in:* Burma* Singapore* Indonesia* Malaysia* ThailandThe research considers the impact of the country at the formation of ethnic teams and investigates why a few international locations are extra profitable in 'managing' their ethnic politics than others.

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Extra resources for The State and Ethnic Politics in South-East Asia (Politics in Asia)

Sample text

We need to explain, in other words, why the ethnic attachment can apparently so easily be Ethnicity and the state 14 translated by political élites into commitment to the ethnic nation, so that individuals are mobilized into ethnic nationalist political movements. The shift from the psychological ethnic ideology to the political ethnic nationalist ideology involves more than just an increased level of consciousness as to the ethnic bond. It involves also the translation of the unconscious psychological motives of the individual to the status of publicly legitimate claims.

Zv19 Ethnicity as a political ideology The explanation of ethnic consciousness in terms of the psychology of the kinship myth does not, of itself, provide an adequate answer to the question of why the ethnic bond is so powerful. There remains a significant distinction between the feelings of dependent attachment to the cultural group which have so far been discussed, and the conscious belief by an individual that the group to which he feels attachment constitutes a distinctive people, a nation or a potential nation which has rights of political priority or autonomy for which that individual would be willing to die, and perhaps also to kill.

Theirs was a defensive position that rested upon the values of traditional society, but their organization, tactics and issues were new. 25 The most radical outburst of such peasant unrest was the Saya San rebellion of 1938, led by a former monk and an activist of the village wunthanu athin organizations. Thus, the decline of the authority of the central monastic institutions which followed on from the British destruction of the monarchical system had left the village-level monks free to search for a new role in society as the leaders of anti-colonial agitation in rural Burman communities during the 1920s and 1930s.

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