Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Singapore Immigration and Changing Public Policies

The demographic composition of the contemporary population of Singapore reflects a complex and vibrant history of a melting pot nation that has grown out of successive waves of immigration stretching back nearly 200 years. As an immigrant society, Singapore is a product of the forces of globalization that have been a constitutive feature of the historical development of many nations. When Britain’s Sir Stamford Raffles signed a treaty in 1819 with local rulers, a swampy little island was trans...

Feature Article

The “Mundane Violence” of International Water Conflicts

Statistics about water resources abound. Some, like the combined length of rivers in the United States (3.5 million miles), make for interesting but forgettable trivia. Others, like the number of people who experience severe water scarcity each year (four billion), declare an issue of urgent and global concern. The staggering magnitude and profound implications of this water crisis alone are difficult to comprehend, and yet the calamity is even further compounded by climate change and internatio...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Surveying Southeast Asia with the Newest Edition of Southeast Asia in the New International Era by Robert Dayley

Southeast Asia can seem overwhelming to integrate into a course, given its eleven countries and considerable cultural diversity. Robert Dayley’s Southeast Asia in the New International Era steps in to save the day. Organized into thirteen chapters, the book provides a thorough overview and introduction to the political developments of each of the eleven countries. The introductory chapter provides a historical survey and a discussion of cultural features of the region, and the concluding chapt...

Feature Article

Understanding Democracy, Security, and Change in Post-2015 Myanmar

Developments in Myanmar, epitomized by images of long-oppressed Nobel Peace Prize recipient Aung San Suu Kyi, now in high office, have recently attracted great interest in how the country is emerging from decades of slow decline under authoritarian rule. When the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) government initiated wide-ranging reforms in 2011, a number of potential foreign investors began to conceptualize Myanmar as a “last frontier” market replete with promise...

Feature Article

Postcolonial Religious Conflict in Southeast Asia

“All religions teach people to be good people,” or so the Thai saying goes. This fits in with the general belief throughout Southeast Asia that religion is a good thing—though of course each person believes his/her religion to be the highest good. It is not surprising, then, that religious belief and practice remain key elements in Southeast Asian private and public life, with secularism little more than a theory. Religion continues to define the majority of people’s sense of self in Sou...

Online Supplement

How Free Are Postcolonial Polities? Select Nation Profiles

Freedom House is an independent organization that advocates for increased freedom and democracy around the world. Partnering with frontline human rights activists to advance democratic change, Freedom House recognizes that freedom is only possible within the context of a democratic government that is accountable to its own people. Established in New York City in 1941, Freedom House has expanded to include offices in a dozen countries. Furthermore, among its goals include collaboration with li...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

School Textbooks and East Asia’s “History Wars”: A Comparative Approach to Teaching About Perspective, Bias, and Historical Memory

As EAA readers are well-aware, the question of historical memory is considerably salient in the context of East Asia. History—especially twentieth-century history—remains a recurring source of debate and contention in the region. At times, such disagreements have escalated into rancorous national and international disputes, even sparking violence and disrupting normal international relations, economic activity, and individuals’ daily lives.

Feature Article

Teaching Southeast Asia Interactively: The ASEAN “Plus Three” Simulation

Interactive simulations, games, and role-playing exercises have become popular methods to engage students in the classroom by assigning them specific roles within a political process and asking them to act like real political actors. These exercises offer numerous advantages, including improved information retention, development of critical thinking, speaking and presentation skills, and increased student interest in the subject.1 In the essay below, we present the advantages of selecting ASEAN ...

Columns, Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Ideas from a Vibrant Liberal Arts High School in Myanmar

For twelve years, the Pre-Collegiate Program of Lumbini Academy has been integrating Myanmar high school graduates into a liberal arts life style. Since its inception, the mission of the Pre-Collegiate Program has been to nurture a small cohort of change-makers each and every year. We are looking to foster students to become perceptive, empathetic, critical, capable, and proactive in engaging the society around them. The first step is sixteen months of education to empower the students to abando...

Columns, Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Southeast Asia in the Humanities and Social Science Curricula

SOUTHEAST ASIA Map of Southeast Asia This map gives the reader an idea of the complicated geography of Southeast Asian countries. Each country is shown with a different color, making it easy to identify them. Ancient Lights: The Geography and Cultures of Southeast Asia (video)

Feature Article

USG Asia Council: Teaching Southeast Asia Workshop

On April 11th and 12th, 2014, the Asia Council of the USG hosted a workshop titled “Teaching Southeast Asia” for university and college faculty. In total, six sessions of one hour and fifteen minutes each were conducted by five presenters and covered a wide range of topics: basic history, religion, cartography, global trade networks, economics, religion, literature, and indigenous cultures. This workshop was the third in a series sponsored by the Asia Council that began in response to state ...

Feature Article

Sources for Understanding Myanmar

Considering Myanmar’s mineral and cultural wealth, it has not been easy to study nor common to discuss the many societies there. Access to information, stories, and lives in Myanmar has markedly improved since 2010, when the US rekindled official and informal relations in Burma, as they refer to the country. Entrepreneurs, tourists, and scholars also have engaged with people and organizations there more and more. One result has been the need for useful sources of current conditions, as well as...

Feature Article

An EAA Interview with Satu Limaye: Why Southeast Asia Matters for America and the World

Satu Limaye was named Director of the East-West Center in Washington in February 2007. He is also a Senior Adviser at the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis organization located in Alexandria, Virginia. From October 2005 to February 2007, he was a Research Staff Member of the Strategy and Resources Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and from July 1998 to October 2005 Director of Research and Publications at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), a...

Feature Article

Aung San Suu Kyi: A Leader Born, a Leader Made

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi is today feted around the world. Why is she so celebrated? Before 2010, she spent fifteen of the previous twenty-one years under house arrest, jailed by the country’s military rulers. In 1989, she faced down the guns of the regime’s soldiers.  In 1990, her party triumphed in elections rigged against it, only to be deprived of the chance to take power when the election results were ignored. In 1991, Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, something she says sh...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders

Asanga Tilakaratne’s Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders offers an overview of “southern Buddhism” that is both traditional and innovative, yet also problematic. Educators will find a valuable resource in its chapters that analyze central doctrines and practices. These offer apt and refreshing perspectives on Buddhism as a lived tradition for the monks and householders adhering to the dominant lineage of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia today.

Feature Article

How China’s Approved Destination Status Policy Spurs and Hinders Chinese Travel Abroad

By the end of this decade, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) forecasts that the People’s Republic of China (hereafter referred to as China) will be sending 100 million tourists abroad each year. By then, China is expected to be the world’s largest tourist-generating country. How is that possible? Before 1978, China was pretty much closed to the outside world. Few Chinese citizens were allowed to travel to other countries. Those who did were either businessmen, government officials, or s...

Web Gleanings

Web Gleanings: Asian Newspapers — English-Language Editions

[Editor’s Note: In order to include as many newspaper sites as possible, remarks have been limited to a single sentence.] BANGLADESH Title: The New Nation URL: http://nation.ittefaq.com/ This paper provides broad coverage of the news of Bangladesh and is associated with a newspaper founded in 1953. Title: The Independent A leading daily newspaper published in Dhaka; articles from its weekly magazine are also indexed on the homepage. Title: Bangladesh Observer URL: http://ww...

Essay, Resources

Teaching About Southeast Asian Transition Economies: Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and East Timor

By R. L. Curry, Jr. Most transition economies are countries that are in the process of reforming their institutional structures that rely extensively upon centralized government planning agencies and state-owned enterprises to allocate scarce national resources and distribute the resulting output. These countries are in the midst of shifting responsibilities for allocating and distributing resources to institutions that feature decentralized markets, private business enterprises and a support...

Book Review, Resources

Developing the Mekong Subregion

Edited by Bob Stensholt CLAYTON, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: MONASH ASIA INSTITUTE, 1997 XVI + 287 PAGES Nearly three decades after the Khmer Rouge retreated from Phnom Penh and the U.S. military withdrew from Laos and Vietnam, the six countries of the greater Mekong subregion (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma or Myanmar, and China’s southern Yunnan Province) now collectively represent one of the world’s fastest growing regional economies. While the current global economic crisis has seve...

Feature Article

Teaching About Southeast Asian Economics

The rich cultural and social milieu of Southeast Asia provides a superb background within which to study the region’s national economies and the way that they are linked as an economic region, particularly via participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The intellectual richness of the region’s diversity is augmented by the wide variety of national economic structures that add to the regional mosaic. As a result, studying and teaching about Southeast Asia is truly an...

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