Nationalism in Southeast Asia seeks a definition of nationalism through examining its role in the history of southeast Asia, a region rarely included in general books on the topic. By developing such a definition and testing it out, Tarling hopes at the same time to make a contribution to southeast Asian historiography and to limit its 'ghettoization'.Tarling considers the role of nationalism in the 'nation-building' of the post-colonial phase, and its relationship both with the democratic aspirations associated with the winning of independence and with the authoritarianism of the closing decades of the 20th century.

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