In recent years the constitutional landscape of Southeast Asia has changed tremendously. Against a worldwide background of liberalization, globalization, and democratization, states in the region have begun to alter their constitutions, reinforcing human rights provisions, and putting in place institutional safeguards, such as constitutional courts and human rights commissions. On closer examination, however, the picture is very complex, with constitutional developments differing greatly between states. This book explores a range of current constitutional developments in the different states of Southeast Asia through a distinct political lens. Drawing on comparative and single case studies, it considers various constitutional areas, including constitution drafting, human rights, legal safeguards and the continuing role of the military, sets constitutional developments in the wider political and historical context of each country, and makes comparisons both with Western democracies and with other developing regions. The book concludes by assessing overall how far constitutional practices and trajectories are converging towards a liberal Western model or towards a distinctly Southeast Asian model.
1. Contesting Constitutionalism: Constitutional Politics in Southeast Asia
Björn Dressel and Marco Bünte
I: Constitution-Making and Constitutional Design
2. Ways of Constitution-Making in Southeast Asia: Actors, Interests, Dynamics
3. Delaying Constitutionalism to Protect Establishment Hegemony in Thailand: Designing the Election System and the Senate in the Constitution of 2007
4. Constitutionalism Old and New in the "UN Kingdom of Timor Leste"
II: Constitutional Change and the Military
5. Constitutional Change and Security Forces: Lessons from Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines
6. Embedding Praetorianism: Soldiers, State and Constitutions in Myanmar
7. The Legal-Military Alliance for Illiberal Constitutionalism in Thailand
Part III: Constitutions and Human Rights
8. Human Rights in Southeast Asia: From Contestation to Compliance?
9. Undermining Religious Minority Rights in Indonesia and Malaysia: Fragile Coalitions, Wavering Executive Chiefs and Rogue Groups as Proxies
10.Vietnam’s Constitutional Politics in Focus: Investigating the Arenas of the Rule of Law and Human Rights
11. Racial Politics and Imperatives and the Constitutional Special Position of the Indigenous Malays in a New Society: Asserting Interests and the Non-Contestation of Rights in Singapore’s Communitarian Constitutionalism
Eugene KB TAN
PART IV: Constitutional Politics and the Rule of Law
12. Courts and Constitutional Politics in Southeast Asia
13. Contesting Constitutionalism in Vietnam: The Justifications and Proposed Models of Judicial Review in the 2013 Amendment Process
14. Constitutional Politics and the Philippine Supreme Court: The Role of Public Support in Mitigating Politicization of the Judiciary
15. Rule of Law in Illiberal Contexts: Cambodia and Singapore as Exemplars
Stephen McCarthy and Kheang UN
16. Constitutionalism, the Rule of Law and Religious Freedom in Malaysia
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
'...valuable contextual narrartives and empirical evidence...the book provides fascinating accounts of domestic politics across a range of Southeast Asian countries...'
Hao Duy Phan, National University of Singapore, Contemporary Southeast Asia