Southeast Asia Digest

Southeast Asia Digest

Thailand and Cambodia: The Battle for Preah Vihear

Historical memory plays a profound role in shaping national identities and international relations. Leaders often invoke visions of a shared past to unify diverse populations under a common flag or to rally diverse countries toward a common regional purpose. However, historical memories can also be explosively divisive. This article briefly examines one such case: the case of Preah Vihear, an ethereal ancient temple complex that sits high in the Dangrek Mountains near the Thai-Cambodian border.

Post-Suharto Indonesia: Democratic Consolidation and Continuing Challenges

In light of its far-reaching political and institutional transformation, Indonesia has received comparatively little attention in scholarship and media. Trailing in the shadow of two Asian giants, China and India, Indonesia's steady democratic consolidation and economic recovery has gone largely unnoticed by the general public. This article will summarize some of the key developments over the last ten years and provide an outlook on future challenges.

Vietnamese Labor-Management Relations: Restructuring and Coping with the Global Economic Crisis

This article explains how the key stakeholders interact in labor-management-state relations in Vietnam within the context of the global economic crisis. After national reunification at the end of the Vietnam War (1954-1975), Vietnam developed a centralized command economy (1975-1986); the socialist government controlled all aspects of the Vietnamese economy including the prohibition of market interactions (although these interactions always existed underground). However, economic shambles and grassroots protests – inspired by Gorbachev's glasnost (openness, in which Vietnamese people were allowed to talk openly and honestly between 1986-89 about the problems they knew) and perestroika (political reform, the willingness of some top Vietnamese leaders to apply Gorbachev's reforms in Vietnam but that did not materialize) – led to the Sixth Party Congress (1986-1991).