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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #203: July 22, 2005

Modern Asian Studies

Journal Name: Modern Asian Studies: Volume 39 - Issue 02 - May 2005
Print ISSN: 0026-749X Online ISSN: 1469-8099

Managing the Forest in Colonial Indochina c.19001940 (pp257-283)
MARK CLEARY (University of Plymouth)
The development of France's territories in Indo-China between about 1900 and 1940 was based on an ideology of economic growth coupled with social and cultural transformation. These twin aims, what French colonial theory termed the mise en valeur and mission civilisatrice of the overseas empire, can tell us much about the attitude of colonial scientists and administrators to defining, controlling and developing the forest resources of the region. This paper examines colonial attitudes towards forest resources and the peoples who relied on the forest for their livelihoods, and explores the ways in which both economic and cultural preoccupations about the 'rational' and 'scientific' use of those resources was reflected in the institutions and policies of the state. Through an examination of the origins and development of forest legislation and, in particular, its effects on indigenous peoples, the paper highlights both the mechanisms used to control indigenous peoples and practices, and the wider context within which such policies were framed.

Haumeni, Not Many: Renewed Plunder and Mismanagement in the Timorese Sandalwood Industry (pp285-320)
ANDREW McWILLIAM (Australian National University)
There have been numerous occasions throughout history where the exploitation of a single commodity has transformed the fortunes of institutions, communities and even nations that have sought to benefit from its control. Middle Eastern oil, rubber from the former Belgian Congo or gold in South America provide a few striking case studies. For the eastern Indonesian island of Timor, the long-term struggle for the control and trade of high quality white sandalwood (Santalum album L) holds this pre-eminent position. The history of Timor, for perhaps the last millennium, has been intimately linked to the shifting fortunes of sandalwood production and trade. Over the centuries, the attraction of sandalwood and the fine scented oil produced from its heartwood, has encouraged an extraordinary array of diverse trading interests that jostled and warred for influence and a share of the lucrative profits from its exploitation and sale across Asia. For indigenous Timorese too, participation in sandalwood politics frequently lay at the heart of endemic struggles for power and wealth. The capacity to exert control over sandalwood production and trade from the interior of the island was a direct measure of political authority and standing among rival Timorese indigenous domains. To control the production and trade in sandalwood was to control the polity, at least to the extent that the situation remained uncontested. The converse also held true; namely that the holders of effective political power within Timorese domains were well placed to monopolise available sandalwood stocks. Thus to a significant degree the fortunes of Timorese society are mirrored in the history of sandalwood politics.

J. S. Furnivall and Fabianism: Reinterpreting the 'Plural Society' in Burma (pp321-348)
JULIE PHAM (University of Cambridge)
Buried in an obscure journal published in Burma is a letter addressed to its readers commemorating the tenth anniversary of the publication. The editor had asked one of the publication's founders, a well-known former Indian Civil Service (ICS) officer turned progres-sive reformer, to pen a few lines. Years later, the writer achieved acclaim as an ardent supporter of Burmese nationalism and independence and one of the founding scholars of Burma and Southeast Asia studies. These were his words of inspiration to an audience that comprised mostly educated Burmese:

Burma did not lose its independence because the rulers of Burma came into conflict with the British Empire, but because they had not sufficient wisdom to preserve their country; they did not know enough of Burma or of the outside world. And it will not again be capable of independence until Burmans know enough of Burma and of the outside world to guide its destinies.

In essence, the Burmese were responsible for their own colonisation because they lacked 'wisdom' and only through gaining this elusive knowledge could they be free. This opinion was based on nearly three decades worth of first-hand observation of Burmese society. The author was J. S. Furnivall.

Developmentalism as a Disciplinary Strategy in Bangladesh (pp349-368)
ABUL HOSSAIN AHMED BHUIYAN (Open University of Bangladesh, Dhaka), AMINUL HAQUE FARAIZI (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton) and JIM McALLISTER (Central Queensland University, Rockhampton)
This article focuses on the working of developmentalism as a disciplinary strategy in Bangladesh. The formation of groups or cooperatives of traditional agriculturists/peasants may be seen as the first attempt in establishing the 'development gaze' over the peasants of Bangladesh. An examination of various techniques used in the cooperative formation process reveals that they are clearly interventionist in nature and are based on the modernist approach to development. Development deployed in the rural villages in Bangladesh resembles the deployment that took place in European societies when what Foucault (1991a) refers to as 'disciplinary power' was established.

The Political Economy of Heavy Industrialization: The Heavy and Chemical Industry (HCI) Push in South Korea in the 1970s (pp369-397)
YUMI HORIKANE (Department of Political Science, Meiji University)
Korea under the Park regime (19611979) is known as a typical example of the East Asian developmental state. Many students of development, both economists and political scientists, have studied it, producing a substantial accumulation of knowledge. However, most writers have, in fact, focused on the policies and politics of the first half of the era. The second half was, politically, a notoriously authoritarian dictatorship, through which the regime strongly pushed its controversial heavy and chemical industrialization program. This program is frequently criticized for being based upon irrational industrial targeting that generated great inefficiency in the economy. The explanation for such irrational policy has been attributed to politics, or the authoritarian nature of the regime, which actually does not explain much.

Negotiating Evidence: History, Archaeology and the Indus Civilisation (pp399-426)
SUDESHNA GUHA (University of Cambridge)
Following the destruction of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in December 1992, the discipline of archaeology has been increasingly exploited for meeting the demands of religious nationalism in India, for offering material proof for the primordiality of Hindu dharma, and for substantiating claims that the 'Vedic Hindu' had an indigenous origin within the subcontinent. Over the last decade, statements such as 'new astrological and archaeological evidence has come to light which suggests that the people who composed the Vedas called themselves Aryans and were indigenous to India' (Prinja 1996: 10), have not only propped up the doctrinaire of Hindutva, but have also acquired an official sanctioning from many within the professional community of Indian archaeologists (e.g. Lal 1998), who are actively involved in a programme of promoting the premise that it is possible to unearth true histories objectively through archaeological means (Gupta 1996: 142).

Hikayat Panglima Nikosa and the Sarawak Gazette: Transforming Texts in Nineteenth Century Sarawak (pp427-460)
J. H. WALKER (University of New South Wales)
Hikayat Panglima Nikosa (HPN) is one of northwest Borneo's earliest available texts. First published in 1876, its importance is enhanced by the relative paucity of other written material and still limited progress in the collection and transcription of the region's rich corpus of oral literature. Although written material survives from the Lingga River area, the Oya and Limbang districts, as well as from the courts of Brunei and Pontianak, the HPN is the earliest known Malay document from the Sarawak River region itself. HPN was uncovered among a group of pamphlets in Rhodes House Library in 1981. The previously unnoticed work was republished in 1983, together with a transliteration and translation by P. L. Thomas, and an 'Introduction' by Reece and Thomas.

The Aesthetic Woman: Re-forming Female Bodies and Minds in Early Twentieth-Century Keralam (pp461-487)
J. DEVIKA (Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala)
In late nineteenth century Malayalee society, the project of social reforming was caught up in the concern to evolve an alternative to established Jati-based mode of ordering human beings. The criticism by the missionaries of the CMS, LMS and the Basel Mission of the established order in Malayalee society as entirely unnatural and inimical to (universal) human values was heard right through the nineteenth century. At the turn of the century, the nascent modern educated of Tiruvitamkoor, Kochi and Malabar were beginning to echo such viewpoints actively. The terms on which these groups perceived their identities and assessed local society were more or less set by colonial sociology and the codification efforts by both imperial and local powers. Interpreting locally existing jati in terms of the construction of 'caste' (i.e., 'Nair', 'Ezhava', 'Araya' etc.) these groups sought to form organisations for the reform of caste, to transform these into full-fledged modern communities.

Modern Asian Studies (2005)
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