Showing posts from February, 2021

Pluralism and Territorial Governance in Southeast Asia: Regional Autonomy versus Local Decentralization

[This is a conference paper now in press, publication details TBC]   Pluralism and Geography The imperatives of colonial and post-colonial history in Southeast Asia have forced ancient kingdoms, expanses of jungle and agriculture, towns of migrant communities, and modern cities, into somewhat disjointed ‘Eastphalian’ states [2] with an apparatus of government largely, and sometimes uncomfortably, based on Western models. [3] The entire effort of nation-building in that region is still encompassed within the lifetime of an individual who may even have been an adult at its outset. In Southeast Asia territorial governance is therefore bound to be of great importance. Indeed throughout most of the region’s history territorial governance has been the main mode of governance. Even larger political units tended historically to correspond more to regions with an urban centre, or provinces, than to the modern nation-states. In the absence of strongly centralized state-building until