IAS-Springer Book Series

The “Asia in Transition” series with academic publisher Springer addresses the interplay of local, national, regional and global influences in Southeast, South and East Asia, through a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.

Editorial Committee

• Editor-in-chief: HOON Chang Yau
• Series Editors: Paul J. Carnegie, Rommel A. Curaming, Bernard Formoso, Kathrina Mohd Daud, Victor T. King, Magne Knudsen, Koh Sin Yee, Marc Lautier, Lian Kwen Fee, Dominik M. Müller, Noor Hasharina Haji Hassan, Jonathan Rigg

Join the Series

If you have a scholarly work or an edited volume that you would like to submit to the IAS – Springer “Asia in Transition” books series, or if you have any questions about the series, please feel free to contact Editor-in-chief HOON Chang Yau (changyau.hoon@ubd.edu.bn).

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Understanding China's Belt and Road Initiative

Hong Yu

This open access book provokes critical thinking regarding the most ambitious Chinese project since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The book presents extensive quality research and original insights in assessing the status of China’s outbound investment and construction projects under the BRI umbrella.

Referring to case studies and projects of selected countries from Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, the author sheds new light on the issues and problems associated with the BRI’s implementation and discusses both the readjustments and prospects for the BRI. Finally, this book demarcates the limits and potential of the world’s second largest economy in pushing for the BRI, which is challenged by enormous domestic tensions and external pressures.

It also identifies and analyzes potential new collaboration areas between the Belt and Road countries and China under the BRI framework in the context of the post-COVID-19 era.

It provides an outstanding reference for academics, students, policymakers, and the business community working in areas of international affairs and Asian economics and development, particularly those interested in Sino-relations and Chinese power dynamics in the global world order.

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Corruption and illegality in Asian investment arbitration

Edited by Nobumichi Teramura, Luka Nottage, and Bruno Jetin

This open access book explores Asian approaches towards investment arbitration—a transnational procedure to resolve disputes between a foreign investor and a host state—setting it in the wider political economy and within domestic law contexts. It considers the extent to which significant states in Asia are, or could become, “rule makers” rather than “rule takers” regarding corruption and serious illegality in investor-state arbitration.

Corruption and illegality in international investment are widely condemned in any society, but there remains a lack of consensus on the consequences, especially in investment arbitration. A core issue addressed is whether a foreign investor violating a host state’s law should be awarded protection of its investment, as per its contract with the host state and/or the applicable investment or trade agreement between the home state and the host state.

Some suggest such protection would be unnecessary as the investor committed a crime in the host state, while others attempt to establish an equilibrium between the investor and the host state. Others claim to protect investment, invoking the sanctity of promises made.

The book starts with a deep dive into economic and legal issues in corruption and investment arbitration and then explores the situation and issues in major countries in the region in detail.

It is a useful reference point for lawyers, economists, investors, and government officials who are seeking comprehensive and up-to-date information on anti-bribery rules in Asian investment treaties. It is of particular interest to students and researchers in economics, finance, and law, who are undertaking new research relating to the multifaceted impacts of corruption.

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(Re)presenting brunei darussalam: A sociology of the everyday

Edited by Lian Kwen Fee, Paul J. Carnegie and Noor Hasharina Hassan

This thoughtful and wide-ranging open access volume explores the forces and issues shaping and defining contemporary identities and everyday life in Brunei Darussalam. It is a subject that until now has received comparatively limited attention from mainstream social scientists working on Southeast Asian societies.

The volume helps remedy that deficit by detailing the ways in which religion, gender, place, ethnicity, nation-state formation, migration and economic activity work their way into and reflect in the lives of ordinary Bruneians. In a first of its kind, all the lead authors of the chapter contributions are local Bruneian scholars, and the editors skilfully bring the study of Brunei into the fold of the sociology of everyday life from multiple disciplinary directions.

By engaging local scholars to document everyday concerns that matter to them, the volume presents a collage of distinct but interrelated case studies that have been previously undocumented or relatively underappreciated. These interior portrayals render new angles of vision, scale and nuance to our understandings of Brunei often overlooked by mainstream inquiry.

Each in its own way speaks to how structures and institutions express themselves through complex processes to influence the lives of inhabitants. Academic scholars, university students and others interested in the study of contemporary Brunei Darussalam will find this volume an invaluable resource for unravelling its diversity and textures. At the same time, it hopefully stimulates critical reflection on positionality, hierarchies of knowledge production, cultural diversity and the ways in which we approach the social science study of Brunei.

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Discursive Approaches to Politics in Malaysia: Legitimising Governance

Edited by Kumaran Rajandran and Charity Lee

This open access book examines Malaysian politics using a linguistic perspective. It explores how language serves to (de)legitimise governance, and its subsequent policies and activities in Malaysia.

Grounded in discourse studies, this edited volume presents research on the discourses produced by and on Barisan Nasional, Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional from 2008 to 2020, studying how political actors (de)legitimise their governance through discursive means.

The thirteen original chapters select spoken, print and digital texts in English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil, and deploy varied theoretical and methodological approaches. Their linguistic analysis unearths the language features and strategies that facilitate (de)legitimation.

It shows how political actors shape the discursive representation and evaluation of multiple concerns in Malaysia. Consequently, Discursive Approaches to Politics in Malaysia: Legitimising Governance improves our understanding of contemporary Malaysian political discourse.

It is of interest to graduates and researchers in the field of discourse studies, seeking to understand the discursive contours of politics in this developing Asian country.

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Environment, Media, and Popular Culture in Southeast Asia

Edited by Jason Paolo Telles, John Charles Ryan and Jeconiah Louis Dreisbach

This book addresses the increasingly important subject of ecomedia by critically examining the interconnections between environment, ecology, media forms, and popular culture in the Southeast Asian region, exploring methods such as textual analysis, thematic analysis, content analysis, participatory ethnography, auto ethnography, and semi-structured interviewing.

It is divided into four sections: I. Activism, Environment, and Indigeneity; II. Political, Ecologies and Urban Spaces; III. Narratives, Discourses, and Aesthetics; and IV. Imperialism, Nationalism, and Islands, covering topics such as broadcast media (radio and TV) and the environment; green cinema and ecodocumentaries, ecodigital art, digital environmental literature.

It is of great interest to researchers, students, practitioners and scholars working in the area of humanities, media, communications, cultural studies, environmental humanities, environmental studies, and sustainability.

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Reading Malaysian Literature in English: Ethnicity, Gender Diaspora, and Nationalism

Edited by Mohammad A. Quayum

This book brings together fourteen articles by prominent critics of Malaysian Anglophone literature from five different countries: Australia, Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, and the US. It investigates the thematic and stylistic trends in the literary products of selected writers of the tradition in the genres of drama, fiction, and poetry, from its beginnings to the present, focusing mainly on the postcolonial themes of ethnicity, gender, diaspora, and nationalism, which are central to the creativity and imagination of these writers. The book explores the works of not just the established writers of the tradition but also those who have received little critical attention to date but who are equally gifted, such as Adibah Amin, Edward Dorall, Rehaman Rashid, and Huzir Suleiman. The chapters collectively address the challenges and achievements of writers in the English language in a country where English is widely used in daily life and yet marginalised in the creative domain to elevate the status of writings in the national language, i.e., Bahasa Malaysia. The book will demonstrate that in spite of such recurrent neglect of the medium, Malaysia has produced a number of outstanding writers in the language, who are comparable in creativity and craftsmanship to writers of other Anglophone traditions. The book will be of interest to readers and researchers of Malaysian literature, postcolonial literatures, minority literatures, gender studies, and Southeast Asian studies.

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Vietnam at the Vanguard: New Perspectives Across Time, Space, and Community

Edited by Jamie Gillen, Liam C. Kelley, and Phan Le Ha

This transdisciplinary edited book explores new developments and perspectives on global Vietnam, touching on aspects of history, identity, transnational mobilities, heritage, belonging, civil society, linguistics, education, ethnicity, and worship practices. Derived from the Engaging With Vietnam: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue conference series, this cutting-edge collection presents new scholarship and also represents new ways of knowing global Vietnam. Over the past 10 years, knowledge production about Vietnam has diversified in various ways as globalization, the internationalization of higher education, and the digital revolution have transformed the world, as well as Vietnam. Whereas as late as a decade ago, knowledge about Vietnam was still largely the preserve of scholars in Vietnam and a coterie of related experts outside of the country at a select few universities, today we find scholars working on Vietnam in myriad contexts. This transformation has introduced new voices and new perspectives, which this book champions. A critical text engaging a range of historical and contemporary debates about Vietnam, this book is an indispensable volume for the Southeast Asian Studies student and scholar in the humanities and social sciences.

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Contesting Chineseness: Ethnicity, Identity, and Nation in China and Southeast Asia

Edited by Chang-Yau Hoon and Ying-kit Chan

Combining a historical approach of Chineseness and a contemporary perspective on the social construction of Chineseness, this book provides comparative insights to understand the contingent complexities of ethnic and social formations in both China and among the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia. This book focuses on the experiences and practices of these people, who as mobile agents are free to embrace or reject being defined as Chinese by moving across borders and reinterpreting their own histories. By historicizing the notion of Chineseness at local, regional, and global levels, the book examines intersections of authenticity, authority, culture, identity, media, power, and international relations that support or undermine different instances of Chineseness and its representations. It seeks to rescue the present from the past by presenting case studies of contingent encounters that produce the ideas, practices, and identities that become the categories nations need to justify their existence. The dynamic, fluid representations of Chineseness illustrate that it has never been an undifferentiated whole in both space and time. Through physical movements and inherited knowledge, agents of Chineseness have deployed various interpretive strategies to define and represent themselves vis-à-vis the local, regional, and global in their respective temporal experiences. This book will be relevant to students and scholars in Chinese studies and Asian studies more broadly, with a focus on identity politics, migration, popular culture, and international relations.

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Discourses, Agency and Identity in Malaysia: Critical Perspectives

Edited by Zawawi Ibrahim, Gareth Richards, and Victor T. King

This book seeks to break new ground, both empirically and conceptually, in examining discourses of identity formation and the agency of critical social practices in Malaysia. Taking an inclusive cultural studies perspective, it questions the ideological narrative of ‘race’ and ‘ethnicity’ that dominates explanations of conflicts and cleavages in the Malaysian context. The contributions are organised in three broad themes. ‘Identities in Contestation: Borders, Complexities and Hybridities’ takes a range of empirical studies—literary translation, religion, gender, ethnicity, indigeneity and sexual orientation—to break down preconceived notions of fixed identities. This then opens up an examination of ‘Identities and Movements: Agency and Alternative Discourses’, in which contributors deal with counter-hegemonic social movements—of antiracism, young people, environmentalism and independent publishing—that explicitly seek to open up greater critical, democratic space within the Malaysian polity. The third section, ‘Identities and Narratives: Culture and Media’, then provides a close textual reading of some exemplars of new cultural and media practices found in personal testimonies, popular music, film, radio programming and storytelling who have consciously created bodies of work that question the dominant national narrative. This book is a valuable interdisciplinary work for advanced students and researchers interested in representations of identity and nationhood in Malaysia, and for those with wider interests in the fields of critical cultural studies and discourse analysis.

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Fieldwork and the Self: Changing Research Styles in Southeast Asia

Edited by Jérémy Jammes and Victor T. King

This book presents new perspectives on Southeast Asia using cases from a range of ethnic groups, cultures and histories, written by scholars from different ethnicities, generations, disciplines and scientific traditions. It examines various research trajectories, engaging with epistemological debates on the ‘global’ and ‘local’, on ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’, and the role played by personal experiences in the collection and analysis of empirical data. The volume provides subjects for debate rarely addressed in formal approaches to data gathering and analysis. Rather than grappling with the usual methodological building blocks of research training, it focuses on neglected issues in the research experience including chance, error, coincidence, mishap, dead ends, silence, secrets, improvisation, remembering, digital challenges and shifting tracks. Fieldwork and the Self is relevant to academics and researchers from universities and international organisations who are engaged in teaching and learning in area studies and social science research methods.

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China English in World Englishes

Deyuan He

This book fills the gap in World Englishes studies in terms of the pedagogic implication of China English and its use in the Chinese workplace. Using three triangulated methods, namely, questionnaire survey, matched-guise technique, and focused interview, the book adopts an innovative research methodology that combines quantitative and qualitative data from 3,493 participants. Overall, the participants still believe that the standardized Englishes are desirable models of English in China and that China English should be well codified and promoted before being adopted as the pedagogic model. In addition, the book proposes that the curriculum design of university English should include an introduction to the well-defined characteristics of China English and world Englishes. Last but not least, the book reveals that English is being used more widely and frequently in the professional world than before and has become increasingly important in China.

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Displacement Among Sri Lankan Tamil Migrants: The Diasporic Search for Home in the Aftermath of War

Diotima Chattoraj

This book focuses on the concept of ‘home’ or ‘place of origin’ (expressed in Tamil as ‘Ur’) and its various dimensions, in turn related to issues of belonging, attachment, detachment, and commonality among the war-affected population in the post-war era of Sri Lanka. Little research has been undertaken on displacement and forced migration since the end of the war, and so this book provides new insight into the intersections between externally and internally displaced people and notions of home in relation to gender, age, caste and class. It excavates the roots of the problem of not being able to return due to combinations of uncertainty, unemployment, and the loss of people and property. The author shows that notions of ‘home’ vary considerably depending on multiple variables, and this is particularly pronounced between the different generations. The book also confronts how the migration from Sri Lanka over the border to India has brought on discernible changes to the lives of women in particular, in transforming their identities in multiple re-invented cultural manifestations, and cultivating a new kind of attachment towards their new homes. Interdisciplinary in tenor, this book will be of interest to scholars in development studies with a focus on South Asia, as well as graduate students and researchers in the fields of migration, conflict studies, Sri Lanka studies, and sociology. It may also have an impact on policymakers owing to its comprehensive, empirically-based analysis of the consequences of the Sri Lankan civil war for Tamils.

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The Divergent Nation of Indonesia: Heterogeneous Imaginings in Jakarta, Kupang, and Banda Aceh

Stefani Nugroho

This book explores how Indonesia is imagined differently by young people in the three cities of Jakarta, Kupang and Banda Aceh. Throughout the course of Indonesia’s colonial and postcolonial history, Jakarta, the capital, has always occupied a central position, while Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara and Banda Aceh in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam are located at the peripheries. The book analyses the convergences and divergences in how the country is perceived from these different vantage points, and the implications for Indonesia, also providing a new perspective to the classic and contemporary theories of the nation. By examining the heterogeneity of the imaginings of the nation ‘from below’, it moves away from the tendency to focus on the homogeneity of the nation, found in the classic theories such as Anderson’s and Gellner’s, as well as in more recent theories on every day and banal nationalism. Using the tenets of standpoint theory and Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony, the nation is acknowledged as an empty signifier that means different things depending on the positionality of the perceiving subject. The work appeals to scholars of nation studies and Asian and Indonesian studies, as well those interested in the empirical grounding of poststructuralist theories.

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International Labour Migration in the Middle East and Asia: Issues of Inclusion and Exclusion

Edited by Lian Kwen Fee, Lian, Hosoda Naomi and Ishii Masako

The discourse on migration outcomes in the West has largely been dominated by issues of integration, but it is more relevant to view immigration in non-Western societies in relation to practices of exclusion and inclusion. The contributors go beyond this binary discourse of ‘exclusion versus inclusion’ which has dominated migration research. They examine the situation of migrants in the Middle East and Asia as one that encompasses both exclusion and inclusion, addressing related concepts of empowerment, ethnocracy, the feminisation of migration and gendered geographies of power, liberal constraint and multiculturalism, individual agency, migrant-friendly discourses, spaces of emancipation and spaces of insecurity. The book highlights current research in the Arab Gulf states, and examines multiculturalism in Asia more broadly. It will be of particular interest to students and researchers in international labour migration studies in the Middle East and Asia

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Environmental Resources Use and Challenges in Contemporary Southeast Asia: Tropical Ecosystems in Transition

Edited by Mario Lopez and Jafar Suryomenggolo

This edited volume introduces dynamic approaches to the study of Southeast Asia’s environmental diversity from different disciplinary perspectives at the interface between the natural and social sciences. The book introduces unique approaches to the study of Southeast Asia’s environmental changes and resource management under the influence of intensifying economic change in the region. It also examines the slow erosion of Southeast Asia’s rich environment and addresses serious issues such as the decrease in biodiversity and tropical forests, and the degradation of peat lands. At the same time, it discusses the social issues that are tied to energy-dependent growth and have intensified over the last two decades. It also analyzes the new roadmaps being created to protect, conserve, and manage the environment. 

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The Southeast Asian Woman Writes Back. Gender, Identity and Nation in the Literatures of Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines

Edited by Grace V.S. Chin and Kathrina Haji Mohd Daud

This book offers multidisciplinary approaches to the analysis of gender, identity and nation in postcolonial Southeast Asian literature and adds a Southeast Asian perspective to the study of gender, identity and nation in postcolonial Southeast Asian literature.

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Human Insecurities in Southeast Asia

Edited by Paul J. Carnegie, Victor T King, and Zawawi Ibrahim

This book is a collection of work by scholars currently pursuing research on human security and insecurities in Southeast Asia.

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Borneo Studies in History, Society and Culture

Edited by Victor T King, Zawawi Ibrahim and Noor Hasharina Hassan

The chapters in this book locate research on Borneo within the general disciplinary fields of the social sciences, with attention devoted to anthropological research and related fields such as development studies, gender studies, environmental studies, social policy studies and cultural studies.

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Contemporary Conflicts in Southeast Asia: Towards a New ASEAN Way of Conflict Management

Edited by Mikio Oishi​

This book examines the concept of multiculturalism in the fields of Asian sociology and Southeast Asian studies.  

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International Migration in Southeast Asia: Continuities and Discontinuities

Edited by Kwen Fee Lian, Md Mizanur Rahman, Yabit Alas​

This book approaches the field of international migration from an intra- and inter-regional migration perspective. 

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Multiculturalism, Migration and the Politics of Identity in Singapore

Edited by Kwen Fee Lian​

This book examines the concept of multiculturalism in the fields of Asian sociology and Southeast Asian studies.