Developing a framework to study "e;what makes a region,"e; Amitav Acharya investigates the origins and evolution of Southeast Asian regionalism and international relations. He views the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) "e;from the bottom up"e;-as not only a U.S.-inspired ally in the Cold War struggle against communism but also an organization that reflects indigenous traditions. Although Acharya deploys the notion of "e;imagined community"e; to examine the changes, especially since the Cold War, in the significance of ASEAN dealings for a regional identity, he insists that "e;imagination"e; is itself not a neutral but rather a culturally variable concept. The regional imagination in Southeast Asia imagines a community of nations different from NAFTA or NATO, the OAU, or the European Union.In this new edition of a book first published as The Quest for Identity in 2000, Acharya updates developments in the region through the first decade of the new century: the aftermath of the financial crisis of 1997, security affairs after September 2001, the long-term impact of the 2004 tsunami, and the substantial changes wrought by the rise of China as a regional and global actor. Acharya argues in this important book for the crucial importance of regionalism in a different part of the world.
Making of Southeast Asia
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