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POLI 369 Chapter Notes -Inferiority Complex, Top Priority, Malayan Union

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 369
Erik Kuhonta

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Colonial Policy and Practice: Comparative Study of Burma and Netherlands India (Furnivall)
Key concept of plural society
-Due to the British colonial policy of Divide and Rule and the similar policy used by the Dutch
-Divisions, usually for economic purposes, along ethnic/religious lines
-Ex: British in Malaya kept the Malays in agriculture, the Indians in rubber plantation and
the Chinese in tin mining
-Objective: prevent collective action
-Prevent trust between different ethnic groups, which reduces the likelihood of different
segments in the society uniting together to topple colonial rule
-Link with assimilation!
-Elements of a plural society:
-Lack of collective consciousness, heritage and will
-Interaction limited in the marketplace due to Divide and Rule
-It is a crowd, not a community
Southeast Asia and the Colonial Experience (Elson)
-Elson basically writes about the region’s fluid and adaptive capabilities how colonialism has transformed it
-European powers sought to control and monopolize trade that SE Asia offered
-Trade with extra-regional markets defined SE Asia life and politics until the 1800s
-Effects of colonialism:
-Transformed the landscape of the area
-Livelihood of SE Asians
-Diminished shared identities in the region
-Creation of a new state system
-From traditional forms (e.g. mandala concept) to European models (e.g. fixed territorial borders
and state sovereignty)
-Professional bureaucracy in state administration
-Codification of traditional SE Asian law system
-“Civilizing” mission toward the indigenous SE Asians
-Economic development
-SE Asian nations were expected to produce for their colonial masters, but also to consume the
products of the industrial world (e.g. textile)
-Social implications of colonialism:
-Increase in SE Asian population

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-Reduction in the value of people, but an increase in the value of material goods (contrast with
mandala polity)
-The maturation of SE Asian nations gave rise to anti-colonial nationalism
-Young intellectuals understood that SE Asian nations were only useful to support Western powers
-However, nationalist forces were initially non-threatening due to division and disagreements
-The Japanese weakened Western powers in the pacific region during WWII, therefore giving
opportunities for nationalist movements
The End of Empire and the Cold War (Berger)
-Berger focuses on the transformation of SE Asia that flowed from the rise of nationalism, the crisis of colonialism,
decolonization, the Cold War and the emergence of new nation-states
-Anti-colonial resistance expressed through nationalism
-Nation-state as a symbol of freedom and self-determination
-Dynamics of decolonization
-Nationalistic movements strengthened by the Japanese invasion
-Philippines gained independence in 1946
-Indonesia declaring independence in 1945
-Burma gaining independence in 1948
-Mention of the Malayan Union
-After 1945, British sought to institute local self-government based on equal citizenship
- Malay elites rejected this proposition as the Malayan Union would severely weaken the ethnic
Malays as most of them were planted in agriculture (Policy of Divide and Rule)
-Creation of UMNO (1946) in response which successfully bargained for the deletion of the
Malayan Union
-Indonesian independence
-Anti-colonial nationalism did not take hold until the early 1900s
-Japanese invasion gave Sukarno nationalistic opportunities as it weakened European colonialism
-Independence declared in 1945
-Dutch withdrawal in 1949
-Fragmentation of French Indochina (Focus on Vietnam)
-Anti-colonial Vietnamese nationalism emerged in early 1900s
-Japanese invasion defeated French colonialists
-Following the defeat of Japan in the hands of the Allies, the Viet Minh under Ho Chi Minh took
advantage of both weakened French and Japanese to military pursue a road to independence

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-French were determined to hold on French Indochina, however, this would lead to the
French Indochina wars
-National liberation to authoritarian nationalism in Indonesia
-Sukarno after gaining independence, rejected everything Dutch, including their economic structure
-Encouragement of uncompetitive indigenous capitalists
-Leads to heightened state intervention for capitalist development (Guided Democracy)
-Massive fail
-Right-wing factions would thus look for opportunities to take over (Suharto’s
New Order)
Withdrawal Symptoms (Anderson)
-In Withdrawal Symptoms, Anderson discusses about Thailand’s back-and-forth between democratization and
military coups in the 1970s
-This is a piece that basically discusses contingent democrats (bourgeoisie/middle-class in Thailand)
-Emergence of bourgeoisie in the late 1950s
-This would become the social base for right-wing movements
-Until the late 1960s, Thailand enjoyed economic development thanks to American presence and tourism under
the Sarit Thanarat dictatorship
-This new bourgeoisie was the main benefiter of development
-However, American presence was starting to withdraw in 1971-1972, which considerably stagnated
economic development
-Dissatisfaction among the new bourgeoisie, which led to disillusionment with dictatorship as it
could no longer produce
-Middle-class/bourgeoisie brought down Thanom Kittikachorn (successor of Sarit) using mass demonstrations in
October 1973
-However, economic development still didn’t start
-Increasing unemployment, even among the educated people (e.g. bourgeoisie)
-Violence stemming from frustration from radical right-wing factions such as the Red Gaurs and the
Village Scouts
-Bourgeoisie wanted a rollback to dictatorship
-Overthrow of the ineffectual democratic regime in October 1976
The Evolution of Democratic Politics (Case)
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