International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy

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International Relations in Southeast Asia: The Struggle for Autonomy

By Donald E. Weatherbee
Rowman & Littlefield, 2005
328 pp. $75.00
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Veteran Southeast Asia specialist Weatherbee has written an insightful and informative study of the interactions of the peoples of Southeast Asia, both historically and today. The work is both an excellent introduction to the complex story of the region and a useful reference volume for specialists. Weatherbee is sure-handed in his account of the end of colonialism and the emergence of nationalist movements, and he is on top of all manner of recent developments in the area. In contrast to most contemporary writers on the region, he does not see the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as a coherent, integrated actor; rather, he is sensitive to the fact that the states that make up ASEAN are torn between cooperation and nationalism. The story is further complicated by shifts in the larger international setting, which involve a China on the rise, a United States with declining influence, and a Japan that is unsure of what role it should play.