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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #150: July 16, 2004

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 38 - Issue 02 - May 2004
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta Qiaoxiang (pp257-282)
Michael Williams (University of Hong Kong)
In the history of links between people from the Pearl River Delta with the countries of South-East Asia and the Pacific, the role played by Hong Kong cannot be ignored. It is the purpose here to examine the role and contribution of Hong Kong to these Pearl River Delta links over the period 1842 to 1942. Such an examination, it is hoped, will also allow the impact of Pearl River Delta links on Hong Kong to be investigated. Much of the material presented by this paper is not new, rather the aim is to view Hong Kong from the perspective of the Pearl River Delta qiaoxiang. A perspective, it is suggested, that will enable aspects of Hong Kong's history and its contribution to the history of the Pearl River Delta counties and their overseas links to be seen in a new way.

Naval Warfare and the Refraction of China's Self-Strengthening Reforms into Scientific and Technological Failure, 1865-1895 (pp283-326)
Benjamin A. Elman (Princeton University)
In the 1950s and 1960s, Chinese, Western, and Japanese scholarship debated the success or failure of the government schools and regional arsenals established between 1865 and 1895 to reform Qing China (1644-1911). For example, Quan Hansheng contended in 1954 that the Qing failure to industrialize after the Taiping Rebellion (1850-64) was the major reason why China lacked modern weapons during the Sino-Japanese War. This position has been built on in recent reassessments of the 'Foreign Affairs Movement' (Yangwu yundong) and Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 (Jiawu zhanzheng) by Chinese scholars. They argue, with some dissent, that the inadequacies of the late Qing Chinese navy and army were due to poor armaments, insufficient training, lack of leadership, vested interests, lack of funding, and low morale. In aggregate, these factors are thought to demonstrate the inadequacies of the 'Self-Strengthening era' and its industrial programs.

'Stranger within the Gates': Knowing Semi-Colonial Siam as Extraterritorials (pp327-354)
Hong Lysa (Monash University)
Siam and the Semi-colonial Issue
The issue of Siam as a semi-feudal, semi-colonial social formation, mooted by Thai Marxists in the 1950s, and again in the 1970s, has by the 1990s by and large been set aside by critically-minded academics for its inability to provide a lineage for the strain of capitalist mode of production that has emerged by the second half of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the 'semi-colonial' as an analytical framework retains its force in confronting the assumed independence and an unreflexive racially based elite nationalism that has so defined Thai self-representations and public culture, but also in how Thailand is understood by others.

Citizenship, Social Equality and Government Reform: Changes in the Household Registration System in Korea, 1894-1910 (pp355-387)
Kyung Moon Hwang (University of Southern California)
For over a millennium before the 20th century, the Korean state had maintained a system of household registration, or hojok. In the Choson dynasty (1392-1910), these registers, through their specification of each household head's status either as a tax-paying commoner or tax-exempt aristocrat or low-born, reinforced the hereditary status delineation of each locality and in turn determined everything from tax and service obligations to the courtesies and behaviors of social interaction. Within the span of a few years at the turn of the 20th century, however, this stalwart institution of household registration, which proved so central to both the strengths and problems of the Choson government, was thoroughly reorganized, revealing the myriad facets of the state's changing relationship with the populace.

The Beginnings of Crony Capitalism: Business, Politics and Economic Development in Malaysia, c. 1955–70 (pp389-417)
NICHOLAS J. WHITE (Liverpool John Moores University)
The term 'crony capitalism' describes the close relationship between the state and big business in contemporary Southeast Asia. Yoshihara argued in 1988 that cronyism produced an entrepreneurially weak, ersatz capitalism. Crony capitalists were 'private-sector businessmen who benefit[ed] enormously from close relations' with leading officials and politicians, obtaining 'not only protection from foreign competition, but also concessions, licences, monopoly rights, and government subsidies'. Yoshihara's thesis has been subject to some criticism, but, in summarizing that debate, Ian Brown states that 'there are…substantial areas of the South-East Asian political-economic landscape where government and business remain bound to the protection of inefficient vested interest, to the defence of monopoly and preference, and where speculations and short-term profit-taking are rife'. Entrepreneurial weaknesses in Southeast Asia appeared fully exposed by the financial crisis of 1997, when the economies of the region could not withstand the cruel buffetings of the international economy.

Stories of Saints and Sultans: Re-membering History at the Sufi Shrines of Aurangabad (pp419-446)
NILE GREEN (Oxford University)
Encounters between Sufi saints and Muslim rulers have played a long and important role in the textual historical traditions of Muslim South Asia. Historians of the sultanates of Delhi and the Deccan writing in Persian such as Ziya al-din Barani and Abu'l Qasim Firishtah peppered their accounts with such narratives, much to the distaste of their nineteenth century British translators who frequently excised such episodes wholesale. Some of the earliest Sufi literature composed in South Asia, such as the 'recorded conversations' (malfuzat) written in the circle of Nizam al-din Awliya of Delhi (d.725/1325), make clear the importance of this topos of the interview between the saint and king. The actual historical nature of such encounters is sometimes difficult to ascertain in view of the didactic and moralizing dimensions to both medieval historiography and Sufi literature in Persian.

Commune Elections in Cambodia: 1981 Foundations and 2002 Reformulations (pp447-467)
In February 2002, Cambodians voted in a multi-party contest for commune councils to govern at the sub-district level in accordance with the Law on Commune/Sangkat Administrative Management promulgated in March 2001. Foreign observers regarded this election as a crucial stage in democratic consolidation. Communes, however, were elected in 1981 and much consolidation of their function occurred during the regime of the People's Republic of Kampuchea. Whether the commune council will differ radically from the commune People's Revolutionary Committee is debatable.

Modern Asian Studies (2004)
Copyright ©2004 Cambridge University Press

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