2016 年 2016 巻 185 号 p. 185_1-185_16
“International Relations” has not published a special issue on Southeast Asia for more than half a century since the publication of Vol. 16 in 1961. Even if we take a shorter period and count the years since the publication of Vol. 84, sub-titled “Southeast Asia”, more than 30 years have elapsed with no publication on Southeast Asia. Such a long interval does not, however, necessarily denote the insignificance of this region.
This Introduction has 3 purposes: 1) to give an overview of changes in Southeast Asian countries since the end of the Cold War, 2) to identify recent research trends in the light of important research results, and 3) to summarize each article in this special issue.
Since the end of the Cold War, Southeast Asia has faced various challenges, such as globalization,regionalization (ASEAN integration), democratization and anti-democratization, terrorism, and so forth. In this region, domestic politics and foreign policies are closely inter-related. On the one hand, the international environment acts as a constraint on domestic politics, and on the other hand, foreign policy should be considered as an extension of domestic politics.
Political, economic and social transformations in Southeast Asian countries since the end of the Cold War are summarized by each country. The countries are divided into 4 groups: 1) countries with experience of democratization (Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand); 2) countries with experience of authoritarian regimes (Malaysia and Singapore); 3) countries that have suffered from civil war or control by a military regime (East Timor, Cambodia, and Myanmar); and 4) one-party Socialist countries (Vietnam and Laos).
Factors such as increased urbanization, the popularization of higher education and change in industrial structure are likely to result in different political outcomes in each country depending on its domestic political regime. Various problems facing Southeast Asian countries can be divided into the following: political transformation and democratization, political parties and elections, decentralization, local governance and political stability, integration and secession. New issues include peace-building,responsibility to protect, non-traditional security, and trans-border migration. Important research results are also referred to.
Finally, summaries of the six articles on Southeast Asia published in this special issue are listed in the order of the issues mentioned above.
While quantitative research continues to be important in Southeast Asian Studies, an Area Studies approach is still relevant for research on politics and international relations in Southeast Asia