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Charney, Michael W. (2022) The Southeast Asian Historical Commons. In: Let’s know our history – ASEAN -- A Webinar of PPI Jerman (Indonesian Students Association in Germany) and ASEAN Youth Organization Germany, 23 April 2022, Zoom.

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We historians have tended to give the European colonisers agency in everything until the rise of nationalist parties and leaders in the 1920s and 1930s. I think this is wrong. I think the main impact of the colonial period was not actually deprived agency, but the sense of actual or potential agency it took from Southeast Asians. Never hesitant to take advantage and adopt new winning technologies or as Niall Fergusson calls them new apps, they became anaemic to things foreign. They then expunged themselves of a great many “winning” technologies and institutions and people on the basis of being tinged with Westernism who might have helped Southeast Asia have a better post-war experience. Southeast Asia has recovered. Thailand has an aid programme outside the region, Jokowi in Indonesia has undertaken the first steps towards FTAs between Indonesia and Latin America and Africa, Duterte in the Philippines plays both US and PRC off against each other.The confidence to be a world player is back. For this reason, and I am not going to say too much more because this will step into the portion of today’s session covered by my colleague from NTU, I am not too worried as the West and Japan seem to be in expanding PRC influence in the region. We’re going to see Southeast Asian. States and societies take the best modern PRC has to offer, but this will only be yet another layer—it will be a Southeast Asia open to the world. Southeast Asia’s long history makes it clear that Southeast Asia will continue to use what is available to chart its own course to prosperity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2022 17:14

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