HY3204



Southeast Asia: Decolonization & After

That the Second World War impacted Southeast Asia is beyond doubt. But the significance of its impact on the structure of the region's 'contemporary' history is more debatable, for revisionist historians are wont to discount the thesis that the War represented a significant turning point or watershed which 'transformed' the region's history. Drawing on both country and regional perspectives, this module first assesses the impact of the War on the theme of decolonization, perhaps the one major historically significant process to dominate the region's political terrain in the immediate post-war aftermath. It will further examine the challenges and trials confronting the new states "after" decolonization, in particular, their search not only for new political frameworks to replace the colonial structures they had discarded, but also for solutions to mitigate the issues of social integration, inter-state conflict and regional co-operation.

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