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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #260: December 11, 2006

Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

Journal Name: Journal of Southeast Asian Studies: October 2006, Volume 37, Issue 3

Print ISSN:0022-4634 Online ISSN:1476-0680


The Nature and Role of Ideology in the Modern Cambodian State (pp375-395)
Margaret Slocomb (The University of Queensland)
After regaining independence from France in 1953, Cambodia was ruled by successive regimes according to specific ideologies which were presented as charters for constructing a modern state. For the past 20 years, however, Cambodian politics has been dominated by the seemingly non-ideological Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his public rhetoric and the stated goals of the current regime, it may be possible to identify if not ideology, then ideas about how the Cambodian people are to be governed in a post-ideological era.

Gender Relations and Household Economic Planning in the Rural Philippines (pp397-413)
James F. Eder (The School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University)
This paper lies at the intersection of the considerable scholarly literatures on household livelihood strategies and on the role of women in Southeast Asia. Focused ethnographically on rural Philippine households engaged primarily in various combinations of fishing and farming activities, and analytically on how gender relations figure in the decisions that the co-heads of these households make regarding their economic plans for the future, it considers how the livelihood diversification that characteristically accompanies rural development affects – and is in turn affected by – the conjugal relationship.

Reassessing Tradition in Times of Political Change: Post-War Cambodia Reconsidered (pp415-420)
Caroline Hughes (The Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham) and Joakim Öjendal (The Department of Peace and Development Research, Göteborg University, Sweden)
This collection of articles focuses on the interrelationship of tradition and change in the Cambodian context. In doing so, it seeks to achieve a number of objectives: first, to contribute to the debate over the role of 'culture' in political life in Cambodia; second, to challenge some of the preconceptions about the nature of 'culture' in general, and Cambodian culture in particular, upon which that debate has been based; and third, to achieve these first two aims by bringing together in productive dialogue recent speculations on Cambodia in the disciplines of political science and anthropology. As such, the symposium seeks to reflect on the relationship between culture and politics; the implications of different framings of this relationship for the politics of contemporary international engagement with Cambodia; and the implications of these for the disciplinary lenses commonly adopted by political scientists and anthropologists.

The Tyranny of Proximity: Power and Mobility in Colonial Cambodia, 1863–1954 (pp421-443)
Penny Edwards (The Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University)
Often typecast as sedentary and static in Western writings, Cambodians have long been on the move. This article explores the misrepresentation of such mobility in colonial narratives, and contrasts the stereotype of the static Khmer with the mobilization of recruits in the First World War, the activities of protesters in Cambodia and political devices like the Royal Tour.

Khmerness and the Thai 'Other': Violence, Discourse and Symbolism in the 2003 Anti-Thai Riots in Cambodia (pp445-468)
Alexander Hinton (At Rutgers (State University of New Jersey), Newark, New Jersey)
On 29 January 2003, a Cambodian mob burned down the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh. This article explores the roots of this violence, arguing that the anti-Thai riots were linked in part to a set of discourses and imagery that have long been central to assertions of 'Khmerness' and constructions of the 'Other'.

The Politics of Gifts: Tradition and Regimentation in Contemporary Cambodia (pp469-489)
Caroline Hughes (The Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham)
This paper seeks to elucidate the symbolic and coercive dimensions of gift-giving in contemporary Cambodia. It is argued that gift-giving is enacted in such a way as to make self-conscious references to aspects of Cambodian 'tradition', but that these references are less important, in compelling assent, than the overt sense of threat that accompanies the donation of gifts. It is argued that the hitching of traditions of giving to mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion is widely rejected as lacking in any kind of cultural legitimacy, but that there are few opportunities available for the poor to make such rejection explicit. In this circumstance, acceptance of practices of regimentation as 'traditional' represents a strategy of surrender, rather than a culturally induced response.

Death, Memory and Building: The Non-Cremation of a Cambodian Monk (pp491-505)
John Marston (The Center for Asian and African Studies, El Colegio de Mexico)
This article examines one case of the ceremonial preservation of a Buddhist monk's body in rural Cambodia. While consistent with Buddhist relic veneration traditions and regional death ritual patterns, the case shows local actors and conditions influencing practice. The study discusses whether there is a recent efflorescence of such practices in Cambodia and whether the 'post-socialist' moment has tended to foster their revival.

Korob, Kaud, Klach: In Search of Agency in Rural Cambodia (pp507-526)
Joakim Öjendal (The Department of Peace and Development Research, Göteborg University, Sweden) and Kim Sedara (The Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and a Ph.D. candidate, Department of Peace and Development Research, Göteborg University)
This article takes the dominant view of a top-down Khmer political culture as its point of departure and explores the extent to which the last decade's political changes have altered the socio-political landscape and triggered the growth of agency in rural areas. In particular, the reform of democratic decentralisation and its integrated 'soft' values are scrutinised in fields such as views on local governance, popular discourse on decentralisation, rural NGO activity and the gendering of politics.

Transcending Time and Terror: The Re-emergence of Bon Dalien after Pol Pot and Thirty Years of Civil War (pp527-546)
Eve Monique Zucker (The Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics)
This article is concerned with social and moral cohesion in the wake of war and violence. In the Cambodian village of O'Thmaa, villagers are making tentative and at times ambiguous efforts to connect to their pre-Khmer Rouge past to recreate a sense of community and moral order. This article examines this process through a detailed ethnographic description and analysis of the production of O'Thmaa's harvest ritual and festival, Bon Dalien.

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