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2022, Vol.14, No.2

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    Covid-19 and Transitions: Case Material from Southeast Asia

    Victor T. King | 2022, 14(2) | pp.27~59 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    During the past two decades, the Southeast Asian region has experienced a range of major crises. Service industries such as tourism and the marginal and migrant laborers who work in them have usually been at the sharp end of these testing events, from natural and environmental disasters, epidemics and pandemics, global financial slumps, terrorism, and political conflict. The latest challenge is the “Novel Coronavirus” (Covid-19/SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. It has already had serious consequences for Southeast Asia and its tourism development and these will continue for the foreseeable future. Since the SARS epidemic of 2002-2004, Southeast Asian economies have become integrated increasingly into those of East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong). This paper examines one of the most significant current crises, Covid-19, and its consequences for Southeast Asia, its tourism industry, and its workers, comparing experiences across the region, and the issues raised by the over-dependence of some countries on East Asia. In research on crises, the main focus has been on dramatic, unpredictable natural disasters, and human-generated global economic downturns. Not so much attention has been devoted to disease and contagion, which has both natural and socio-cultural dimensions in origins and effects, and which, in the case of Covid-19, evoke a pre-crisis period of normality, a liminal transition or “meantime” and a post-crisis “new normality.” The transition is not straightforward; in many countries, it operates as a set of serial lockdowns and restrictions, and to predict an uncertain future remains difficult.
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    The COVID-19 Pandemic and the ‘stranded’ Migrant Population: An Unequal pain

    AKM Ahsan Ullah , Diotima Chattoraj , Wan Zawawi Ibrahim | 2022, 14(2) | pp.61~88 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This article aims to determine the vulnerability of migrant populations to COVID-19. Between March 2020 and November 2021, informal interviews with respondents who were stranded in various parts of the world were conducted through Skype and WhatsApp. COVID-19 endangers millions of individuals who were stranded between their homes and their destinations — and who were compelled to reside in overcrowded accommodation where the ideas of "stay home," "keep safe," and "social distancing" have little significance.
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    Production of Fear: The Visual Analysis of Local Lockdown Warning Signs

    Wiman Rizkidarajat , Aidatul Chusna | 2022, 14(2) | pp.89~116 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    During the Covid-19 pandemic’s first term of April–June 2020, the general public throughout Indonesia became familiar with the slang term “local lockdown.” This term emerged in response to disorderly implementation of the half-hearted government policy called Pembatasan Sosial Berskala Besar (PSBB). In villages around the country, people started to build portals to restrict “strangers” or “outsiders” from entering their village areas. These portals were also meant to publicly signal the villagers’ fear of the spread of the virus. This paper will discuss two things: first, how fear was produced, using frameworks drawn from Giorgio Agamben’s notable works State of Exception and Homo Sacer, and how governance reproduces it; and second, how people come to accept the state of emergency and then publicly express their acceptance of the situation. Critical discourse analysis is applied to read government policy and its reception. The research took place at Rempoah, Kedungmalang, and Pabuwaran villages in Banyumas, the southern regency of Central Java, Indonesia. The villagers’ responses to the government’s policy are visually represented through written warning signs.
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    When Disease Defines a Place: Batavia in British Diplomatic and Military Narratives, 1775-1850

    Stephen Keck | 2022, 14(2) | pp.117~148 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The full impact of COVID-19 has yet to be felt: while it may not define the new decade, it is clear that its immediate significance was to test many of the basic operating assumptions and procedures of global civilization. Even as vaccines are developed and utilized and even as it is possible to see the beginning of the end of COVID-19 as a discrete historical event, it remains unclear as to its ultimate importance. That said, it is evident that the academic exploration of Southeast Asia will also be affected by both the global and regional experiences of the pandemic. “Breakthroughs of Area Studies and ASEAN in the Era of Homo Untact” promises to help reconceptualize the study of the region by highlighting the importance of redefined spatial relationships and new potentially depersonalized modes of communication. This paper acknowledges these issues by suggesting that the transformations caused by the pandemic should motivate scholars to raise new questions about how to understand humanity—particularly as it is defined by societies, nations and regions. Given that COVID-19 (and the response to it) has altered many of the fundamental rhythms of globalized regions, there is sufficient warrant for re-examining both the ways in which disease, health and their related spaces affect the perceptions of Southeast Asia. To achieve “breakthroughs” into the investigation of the region, it makes sense to have another glance at the ways in which the discourses about diseases and health may have helped to inscribe definitions of Southeast Asia—or, at the very least, the nations, societies and peoples who live within it. In order to at least consider these larger issues, the discussion will concentrate on a formative moment in the conceptualization of Southeast Asia-British engagement with the region in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. To that end three themes will be highlighted: (1) the role that British diplomatic and military narratives played in establishing the information priorities required for the construction of colonial knowledge; (2) the importance not only of “colonial knowledge” but information making in its own right; (3) in anticipation of the use of big data, the manner in which manufactured information (related to space and disease) could function in shaping early British perceptions of Southeast Asia—particularly in Batavia and Java. This discussion will suggest that rather than see social distancing or increased communication as the greatest outcome of COVID-19, instead it will be the use of data— that is, big, aggregated biometric data which have not only shaped responses to the pandemic, but remain likely to produce the reconceptualization of both information and knowledge about the region in a way that will be at least as great as that which took place to meet the needs of the “New Imperialism.” Furthermore, the definition and articulation of Southeast Asia has often reflected political and security considerations. Yet, the experience of COVID-19 could prove that data and security are now fused into a set of interests critical to policy-makers. Given that the pandemic should accelerate many existing trends, it might be foreseen these developments will herald the triumph of homo indicina: an epistemic condition whereby the human subject has become a kind of index for its harvestable data. If so, the “breakthroughs” for those who study Southeast Asia will follow in due course.
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    Early Access to COVID-19 Vaccines and Rodrigo Duterte-style Vaccine Diplomacy

    Vicente Angel S. Ybiernas | 2022, 14(2) | pp.149~173 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Vaccine nationalism and its implications to vaccine supply were a huge concern globally when COVID-19 vaccines first became available in 2021. At the time, vaccine supply was limited and it was difficult for many countries around the world to get adequate supply of the COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate their people. At its most benign, vaccine nationalism delayed the access of poorer countries to vaccines that are widely considered as the long-term solution to the COVID-19 pandemic. Poorer countries needed to resort to diplomacy to wrangle early access to vaccine supply from vaccine-producing countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and others. In particular, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte leveraged his country’s Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the United States and the need for Filipino nurses by countries like the United Kingdom and Germany to secure early access to COVID-19 vaccines. It all seems trivial now (in 2022) because of better global vaccine supply, but in 2021 when countries scrambled for access to scarce COVID-19 vaccines, Rodrigo Duterte leveraged the Philippines’ assets to gain early access to vaccine supply.
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    Abolition or Maintenance? French and British Policies towards Vietnamese and Malay Traditional Education during the Last Decades of the Nineteenth Century

    Lý Tường Vân , Hoàng Anh Tuấn | 2022, 14(2) | pp.177~206 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    At different times in the 19th century, the Straits Settlements and Cochinchina were both colonies that the British and the French captured the earliest in their process of invasion of Malaya and Vietnam, respectively. This study examines the transitional stage from the traditional school system to colonial school system in the Straits Settlements and Cochinchina. This could also be considered an experimental stage for building later education systems in their expanded colonies, namely British Malaya and French Indochina, from the closing decades of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century. This study, exploiting various sources and applying the comparative approach, identifies the factors that affected the different attitudes and choices of policy towards traditional education models of indigenous communities (the Malays and Vietnamese) pursued by the British in the Straits Settlements and the French in Cochinchina.
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    HOME SWEET HOME IN VÕ PHIẾN’S TUỲ BÚT

    Tran Tinh Vy | 2022, 14(2) | pp.207~231 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    From being understood as a dwelling, the concept of home is extended to denote belongingness and a sense of attachment in which spiritual, ethnic, religious and historical identities shape a sense of self. Hence, home with its expanded definitions is considered as a cross-cutting and fundamental theme in works by Võ Phiến, one of the diaspora’s towering minds who devoted his life to capturing the rich details of Vietnamese culture, its villages and locals. This article pays attention to the cultural space created through Võ Phiến’s tuỳ bút written when he lived in Saigon and California. Many representations of home were argued as evidence of subtle influences of the historical and social context on the way Võ Phiến perceived and built his own homeland. By observing disruption and continuity through the expressions of the home in Võ Phiến’s writing, we shed light on how Võ Phiến managed to create an indigenous cultural space towards social interactions of Western ideology in South Vietnam from 1964 to 1975.
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    Hizb Ut-Tahrir’s Adaptation Strategies against the State Repression in Indonesia: A Social Movement Perspective

    Hasbi Aswar | 2022, 14(2) | pp.233~249 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) is an Islamic social movement that struggles to change the existing political system to the Islamic system. HT argues that all problems in the Muslim world are rooted in adopting secular thought and ideology and the separation between Islam and the state. Hence, HT works to persuade Muslims to abandon that way of life and only apply Islam as the country's only ideology and constitution. HT has spread this narrative since it started in 1953 in Jordan. With this ideological and political attitude, many countries consider HT a threat to their political and community life, suppressing this movement by arresting members and banning the group to reduce or end HT activities in these countries. The Indonesian government has also carried out this repressive policy to limit the influence of Indonesian HTI since 2017. This paper aims to discuss the strategy of Hizb ut-Tahrir to continue its political activities Indonesia after being dissolved by the Indonesian government in 2017. This article used content analysis method to interpret the data collected from interview and documents from Hizb ut-Tahrir. Responding to state repression, HTI sought other methods of action by changing the place of resistance or activities, and by changing its identity.
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    Indigenization of Global Trade Negotiation Model: Perspective from Southeast Asia

    Hangga Fathana , Nandang Sutrisno , Enggar Furi Herdianto and 1 other persons | 2022, 14(2) | pp.251~268 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Over the last few decades, global trade activities showed a significant increase, resulting in a rise of the wider global economic growth. The achievement is partly due to the more integrated global trade system under global trade regime such as World Trade Organization (WTO) that standardized the practice of global trade. On the other hand, it could also be seen that regional trade negotiation became more important part of global trade activity. The trade negotiation itself was pushed and tailored by regional perspective, which indigenized trade agreement. This research aims to analyze the indigenization of ASEAN’s trade negotiation model. How has the current trade negotiation model within the region represented indigenous needs and aspirations? This study also offers to revisit the conceptual framework in identifying the trade negotiation model to measure the indigeneity of Southeast Asian automotive industry’s policy. This research concludes by explaining the case studies which measure the effect of indigenization to the practice of trade agreement in the region.
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    A Single Identity while Facing Diversity? Exploring ASEAN Integration through Culture

    Gerard P. Concepcion | 2022, 14(2) | pp.269~303 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Since the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967, the main objective of creating a “prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations” through regional integration remains slow. While the aims and purposes of the ASEAN include accelerating, promoting active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters concerning culture and cultural development, the desired ASEAN Integration through culture is still in question. As a multicultural region, the richness and diversity of cultures constitute both prospects and challenges. This paper discusses 1) the concept of integration vis-à-vis the ASEAN; 2) the ASEAN’s goals, policies, and initiatives, concerning culture as stipulated in the key documents of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community—Culture and Arts sector; and 3) the ASEAN identity and community vis-à-vis culture. In the end, this paper proposes a framework on the ASEAN integration through culture in the context of a single identity amidst cultural diversity.