Southeast Asia and the Cold War: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Southeast Asia and the Cold War

1st Edition

Edited by Albert Lau


294 pages

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The origins and the key defining moments of the Cold War in Southeast Asia have been widely debated. This book focuses on an area that has received less attention, the impact and legacy of the Cold War on the various countries in the region, as well as on the region itself.

The book contributes to the historiography of the Cold War in Southeast Asia by examining not only how the conflict shaped the milieu in which national and regional change unfolded but also how the context influenced the course and tenor of the Cold War in the region. It goes on to look at the usefulness or limitations of using the Cold War as an interpretative framework for understanding change in Southeast Asia.

Chapters discuss how the Cold War had a varied but notable impact on the countries in Southeast Asia, not only on the mainland countries belonging to what the British Foreign Office called the "upper arc", but also on those situated on its maritime "lower arc". The book is an important contribution to the fields of Asian Studies and International Relations.


"All of the essays in Southeast Asia and the Cold War offer new insights into how Cold War ideologies and superpower rivalry affected the course of events in Southeast Asia."

Tony Day Nalanda-Srivijaya Centre, iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute

Table of Contents

Introduction: Southeast Asia and the Cold War Albert Lau 1. Britain and the Cold War in Southeast Asia Nicholas Tarling Part 1: The Cold War in the ‘lower arc’ 2. The Philippines search for security in the first years of the Cold War Ricardo T. Jose 3. Decolonization and the Cold War in Singapore, 1955-1959 Albert Lau 4. The Cold War, Malayan decolonization and the making of the Federation of Malaysia Joseph M. Fernando 5. View from the other side: early Cold War in Malaysia from the memoirs and writings of former MCP members Danny Wong Tze Ken 6. The Cold War and British Borneo: impact and legacy Ooi Keat Gin 7. The Cold War and its impact on Indonesia: domestic politics and foreign policy Dewi Fortuna Anwar Part 2: The Cold War in the ‘upper arc’ 8. The Cold War and Vietnam, 1945-1960: how did a nationalist struggle turn into a class struggle? Pham Hong Tung 9. The Vietnamese Revolution in the Cold War and its impact on Vietnam-ASEAN relations during the 1960-1970s Ly Tuong Van 10. Thailand and the secret war in Laos, 1960-1974 Sutayut Osornprasop 11. The Cold War and democratization in Thailand Kullada Kesboonchoo Mead 12. The Jakarta conference on Cambodia Ang Cheng Guan

About the Editor

Albert Lau is Associate Professor of History at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of The Malayan Union Controversy, 1942-1948, A Moment of Anguish: Singapore in Malaysia and the Politics of Disengagement, and a co-author of A New History of Southeast Asia.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Southeast Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Southeast Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General