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ISSN 2582-2241





This timely book, published in 2018, corrects a significant imbalance in the historical literature on the Cold War that had long been dominated by American motivations and concerns, while confining Southeast Asian perspectives largely to the Indochina wars and Indonesia under Sukarno. In Southeast Asia’s Cold War, Ang Cheng Guan rectifies the one-sidedness by examining the international politics of the region from within. It provides an up-to-date narrative of the Cold War as it played out in Southeast Asia against a backdrop of superpower rivalry. In these excerpts, Ang demonstrates that when viewed through a Southeast Asian lens, the Cold War can be traced back to the interwar years and antagonisms between indigenous communists and their opponents, the colonial governments and their later successors. Many of the Southeast Asian states had their own diametrically opposing agendas, with some joining the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization and others participating in the Bandung Conference. The author shows that the threat of global Communism orchestrated from Moscow, which had such a powerful hold in the West, passed largely unnoticed in Southeast Asia, where ideology took a back-seat to regime preservation. China and its evolving attitude toward the region proved far more compelling: the emergence of the communist government there in 1949 helped further the development of communist networks in the Southeast Asian region. Except in Vietnam, the Soviet Union’s role was peripheral because Southeast Asian leaders were preoccupied with managing their relationships with the United States and China. The impact of the Sino-Soviet split was visible in the decade-long Cambodian conflict and the Sino-Vietnamese War of 1979.

[The journal expresses thanks to the University of Hawai’i Press for giving permission to publish these excerpts].

THIS BOOK IS A GENERAL INTERPRETATIVE HISTORY OF THE Cold War in Southeast Asia. Although the literature on the Cold War is voluminous and continues to grow, it is still predominantly focused on the United States and Europe (including the former Soviet Union) even though in the last decade or so, greater attention has been given to the Third World, including Asia; Northeast/East Asia in particular. The Southeast Asian perspectives of the Cold War in comparison are conspicuously absent, the wars in Indochina being the exception.[1] 

The editor of The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia noted two decades ago that although the post-World War II period is “copiously covered in written and printed documents,” there is little that provides Southeast Asian perspectives of the Cold War in the region.[2] This remains true today and certainly needs redressing.

There are to date only four published books devoted specifically to the Southeast Asian dimension: Christopher E. Goscha and Christian F. Ostermann, Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, 1945–1962 (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2009); Malcolm H. Murfett, Cold War Southeast Asia (Singapore: Marshall Cavendish, 2012); Albert Lau, Southeast Asia and the Cold War (London: Routledge, 2012); and Tuong Vu and Wasana Wongsurawat (ed.) Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). All but three of the essays in the last volume deal with the experiences of the Southeast Asian countries. To these, one must add the numerous books written by the prolific and eminent historian of Southeast Asia, Nicholas Tarling. Although these books are written based on mostly British archival records, anyone interested in the Cold War in Southeast Asia will no doubt benefit considerably from reading them: all are essential reading and indeed I have mined them considerably for this study. Nevertheless, like , they lack a certain degree of cohesion. These four also do not cover the full period of the Cold War.

This is the first book to study of the subject based on a synthesis of secondary [published sources], as well as primary materials. I have depended rather substantially on secondary material mainly because it is beyond my ability and means to pursue original research in order to reconstruct the events and developments of a region that comprises so many countries. In the course of my research and reading, I have also found that much of this extant literature has not been used fully in previous writings on this subject.

I am however reminded of an observation that the late-Singaporean historian Wong Lin Ken made more than three decades back. He stated, given the proliferation of scholarship since D.G.E. Hall’s History of Southeast Asia—and the linguistic requirements to read the writings of Western and Asian scholars—it is beyond the effort of  any one scholar to put together in a single volume the rich extent of available scholarly works on the region.[3] Nevertheless, I think it is worth giving it a try. Apart from filling a necessary gap in the historiography of the global Cold War, and the Southeast Asian dimension is by no means unimportant or of no lesser importance than other regions[4], the subject merits study because events in those years shaped both the development and the foreign relationships of the states of the region, all of which, except Thailand, received their independence during the Cold War. The consequences of the wars, political chaos, violence, riots, and revolutions of the Cold War years are still felt by the people living in the region.[5] Henry Kissinger reminded us that “no significant conclusions are possible in the study of foreign affairs—the study of states acting as units—without an awareness of the historical context.”[6]

In sum, my objective is to provide an up-to-date and coherent account of the Cold War as it was played out in Southeast Asia based on forgotten and the latest research findings, which I hope will be useful to both scholars and students alike. This book also puts the Southeast Asian actors to the forefront of the events. As Tuong Vu argued, instead of seeing the Cold War as “spreading from Europe and engulfing Asia” (as generally believed), it should be “reconceptualized as an intercontinental synchronization in which Asian actors shared equal responsibilities with the superpowers in the spread of the conflict.”[7]

The Cold War as a field of study has become increasingly complex.[8] To give just one (and by no means isolated) example, the aim of a conference on the Cold War in Asia organized by Center for East Asian Studies (University of Chicago) in April 2013 was “to find an alternative approach to the conventional state-centered binary approaches to the Cold War in Asia and to examine the role of non-state actors, and the local cultures, and movements that defy the nationalist approach.” The conference focused on five topics: visual culture, gender, intersection of state and society, decolonization and non-alignment, and knowledge production and censorship.[9] Indeed, in recent years, the trend is to focus on the social and cultural phenomena of the Cold War. As Tuong Vu pointed out, “Asian actors’ visions and political loyalties during the Cold War spanned a much wider range—not limited to the nation-state as the ideal political community.”[10] Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture mentioned earlier is representative of this trend. Another is Cultures at War: The Cold War and Cultural Expression in Southeast Asia, Tony Day and Maya Liem (ed.), (Ithaca: Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications, 2010). The Cold War in Asia: The Battle for Hearts and Minds, Zheng Yangwen, Hong Liu, and Michael Szonyi (ed.), (Leiden: Brill, 2010) contains two essays on Southeast Asia—Burma and Indonesia.[11] The books attempt to explore the mindsets of the Southeast Asian actors and show how they were shaped by, in the words of Wang Gungwu, “not only national or developmental concerns” but also “cultural ideals that reflect their own traditions and their response to universalist and international aspirations.”[12]

In the words of Akira Iriye, “[I]n the study of diplomatic affairs one may define power as a nation’s ability to defend itself, and economy as its production and exchange of goods and service. Culture, in contrast, is the sharing and transmission of memory, ideology, emotions, lifestyles, scholarly and artistic works, and other symbols.”[13] The so-called cultural turn—and here I include the “social” dimension as well—in Cold War historiography certainly expands our knowledge of the Cold War period and is to be welcomed. It adds a more human dimension to the supposed standard narratives of the Cold War, which are essentially constructed from the perspectives of the nation-state. Indeed, the aim of the new approaches to the study of the Cold War, with their in-vogue emphasis on everything but foreign policy and diplomacy, is to “rescue Cold war scholarships from the grips of the nation-state.”[14] Writing political and diplomatic history is not very fashionable these days. But I would caution against underestimating its significance. It has been said that one can always survive a mistake in domestic affairs but can get killed by one made in foreign policy.[15]

The so-called “New Cold War History” is perhaps a logical outgrowth or development in the “life-cycle” of a matured Euro-centric Cold War historiography focused on the politics and rivalries of the superpowers. As far Southeast Asia is concerned, there is as yet no “standard narrative” or body of competing narratives that can serve as a basis or platform for debate, such as that among John Lewis Gaddis, Bruce Cumings, Melvyn Leffler, and Michael Hunt on the foreign policies of the United States during the Cold War.[16] We cannot really identify an “orthodox” school (unless we consider the various government perspectives, which would depend on whether it was a communist or a non-communist state), “revisionist,” or indeed even a “post-revisionist” school. It is not clear how the historiography of the Cold War with regards to Southeast Asia, with the exception of Indochina, has advanced or benefitted from the opening or partial opening of the communist archives since the end of the Cold War. I will return to this issue of labels and categorization shortly.

I share Holger Nehring’s concern that “the intellectual and methodological pluralism evident in recent writings on the Cold War, and the consequent ‘decentering’ of the field away from its military and diplomatic core, has come at a substantial cost. The meaning of ‘Cold War’ as a concept has been diluted significantly. . . .”[17] I am also in agreement with Patrick Finney’s observation that rather than challenging existing assumptions, the cultural approaches “actually just offer us a fuller picture of how things actually were, in impeccably Rankean style.”[18] Thus, there is good justification for a detailed political and diplomatic treatment of Southeast Asia and the Cold War. Over-emphasizing the non-political aspects, important as they may be, at the expense of the diplomatic, seems to me to put the cart before the horse. Here I am reminded of the story or parable originating from the Indian subcontinent of the blind men and an elephant.[19] For those unfamiliar with the story, six blind men set out to determine what an elephant was like by feeling different parts of the elephant’s body. One felt the leg and concluded the elephant is like a pillar; the one who felt the tail concluded that the elephant is like a rope; the third who touched the trunk said that the elephant is like a tree trunk; the fourth who touched the ear believed that elephant is like a hand fan; the fifth who felt the belly thought the elephant is like a wall; and finally the one who felt the tusk concluded that the elephant is like a pipe. So they ended in complete disagreement and never got to know what a real elephant is like. Of course we all know that the elephant is more than its individual parts even though every feature is as important as the other.

Take for example, Michael Charney’s illuminating account of how a much-publicized Burmese-language play Ludu Aung Than (The People Win Through) written by U Nu, the first prime minister of Burma (1948-1962), was used as a propaganda tool by both the U Nu government and the United States. The original intent of the play was to promote democracy and to admonish those who attempted to seize power by force. But Nu also wanted the play “to warn the Burmese not to allow themselves to be fooled by self-interested foreign countries,” specifically the Soviet Union and the United States. Nu deliberately omitted the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in his imagined Cold War for a complex set of reasons. Most importantly, he wanted as much as possible to prevent communist China’s intervention into Burma under any pretext. But when the play was subsequently republished with a new and lengthy introduction by Edward Hunter (a former propaganda expert in the Office of Strategic Service, the OSS) for an American audience, Nu, who saw himself as neutral in the Cold War, was transformed into “a defender of democracy on the frontlines of international communist aggression.” This was not complete misinformation because the original Burmese and English introductions by future United Nations Secretary-General U Thant, which he wrote for two distinct audiences, differed in their descriptions of the aggression faced by Burma. Certain quarters within Nu’s government had apparently also encouraged it.[20] While we can learn much from such historical accounts and while they certainly add to the depth and range of our understanding of the Cold War in the region, we still lack a coherent narrative of the Cold War in Southeast Asia to fully contextualize and appreciate episodes such as that recounted by Charney.

This book is thus essentially a diplomatic history of the Cold War in Southeast Asia, not in any “classical,” “traditional,” or narrow sense, but as the title suggests, sources permitting, an “international history.” While “centrally concerned with relations between states,” it adopts “a much more expansive view” of the constituents of international relations, “paying systematic attention not only to diplomacy, but also to economics, strategy, the domestic sources of foreign policy, ideology, propaganda, and intelligence.”[21] Where appropriate, it will also incorporate or at least bring to the attention of the readers the latest research into the cultural aspects of the Cold War in the region. That said, having read chapters in the aforementioned books on culture and the Cold War in particular, I have been more discerning and discriminating in my choice of events or stories to tell: not everything that happened or developed in those “Cold War years” was necessarily the consequence of the struggle between two competing ideologies led by the United States on one side and the Soviet Union (plus China) on the other. As Akira Iriye said, “If we examine those developments in their own terms, not as reflections of or episodes in, the US-USSR confrontation, we shall be able to arrive at a different view of the period, to recognize that there were many other forces in the world of which geopolitical tensions were only one, albeit an important one.”[22] In short, we need to identify those events that had more complex local causes and then differentiate them from those that happened as a consequence of the Cold War conflict.[23]

Post-World War II Southeast Asian historiography does not really fit in with the familiar orthodox, revisionist, and post-revisionist categorization in Cold War historiography mentioned earlier.[24] Milton Osborne summed it up well when he wrote that for all the countries of Southeast Asia, the decades after the Second World War were “dominated by the issue of independence, how it would be granted or resisted, and whether it would be gained by violence or peace.”[25] It was a complex period accentuated by the diversity of the region. The histories were “individual” but the goals were common.[26] The preoccupation of the first post-war generation of historians was therefore with the writing of “national history” and what John Smail termed “autonomous” Southeast Asian history.[27] As Thongchai Winichakul noted, the nationalism and the trajectory of the national histories were an “anti-colonial or postcolonial one,” a reaction against history written from the perspective of the European colonial masters. “Autonomous” history, on the other hand, is as what Reynaldo C. Ileto described “a “third way” out of the apparent dead end reached by the clash between Euro-centric and Asia-centric historical writing.[28] This was true even for Thailand, which has technically never been colonized. The big concepts were thus “nationalism” and “decolonization” rather than the Cold War. [29]

The key characteristic and flaw of these national histories is that they were essentially written from the perspective of the victors, the incumbent power, and the Southeast Asian elite. They claim to be the official histories and are generally, Whiggish in interpretation. As Clive J. Christie observed, “The plot of history is written, retrospectively, by the ‘winners.’ As a consequence, the actions of the ‘losers’ appear in hindsight to be fragmented and incoherent.”[30] In the case of most of Southeast Asia—with the exception of Vietnam, Laos, and for a period Cambodia—it was an anti-communist perspective. But Anna Belogurova has reminded us that the communist parties played a significant role in resisting the Japanese during the Second World War and “in so doing helped root in the populace an idea of the nation.”[31] Like Christie, I hope to redress some of those imbalances with my narrative, particularly by providing the communist or pro-communist perspectives.

The limitations and linearity of these “national histories” led a new generation of historians to challenge the national narratives by writing what Thongchai Winichakul calls “post-national histories” or alternative histories—the versions of history that had been ignored or rejected by the ruling elite. A prime example is “history from below” (or social history), which is rather similar to the cultural turn in Cold War/international history in terms of its agenda/objective.[32] Thus in the case of Southeast Asia, the labeling is not so much “Orthodox,” “Revisionist,” or “Post-Revisionist” but “National” and “Post-National” histories. Here, it is perhaps useful to highlight the path-breaking work on Vietnam and the Vietnam War of anthropologist Heonik Kwon. He noted how any Cold War history that essentially centers on international and diplomatic events is incongruent with the representation of the Vietnam War as a national and social history. In his words, “the Cold War was globally waged yet locally specific and divergent” and that the “Cold War’s parallax was not merely geopolitical or diplomatic; it created a further parallax between state and society.”[33] But what Ruth McVey wrote back in 1965 in recounting her experience writing on the early history of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) is worth quoting in full: “Anyone attempting to deal with the history of a Communist movement outside the USSR must decide whether to consider the party primarily as a component of a world movement or to view it as a part of the domestic political scene. . . .  My initial intention, having come to the PKI by way of an interest in the history of Communism, was to focus chiefly on the party’s character as a component of the Comintern and to deal with the domestic scene only as a background for its relations with the Third International. I found, however, that the closeness of the party’s ties to its local environment, when combined with the fact that these surroundings have not yet been adequately studied, forced me either to gloss over problems that were of cardinal importance for the party’s attitude toward the world movement or to devote as much attention to its domestic as to its international setting. The result is a work that views the party in both environments and is directed at students of Indonesian as well as Communist history.”[34] Indeed, “nationalism” and “internationalism” are not necessarily “antagonistic” nor “analytically separate principles” but “mutually entailed aspects of a wider process of categorical thought and action.”[35]

As if the above is not complicated enough, in aspiring to write a comprehensive Cold War history of Southeast Asia, we also need to engage two other fields or sub-fields of study: postcolonial studies and nation-building histories. “Decolonization” is a particularly important, if not dominant, theme in the national histories of Southeast Asia. It is not a simple concept or process to unpack or generalize for it is neither coherent nor well-defined. The decolonization experience took place at different times and differed from country to country. It was more than just a “transference of legal sovereignty.”[36] Or, to borrow a phrase from Prasenjit Duara, “the handiwork of constitutional lawyers.”[37] Scholars interested in decolonization as a field of study have since expanded beyond political historians and political scientists to include social and cultural historians as well as cultural theorists and anthropologists—what is now known as “colonial or postcolonial discourse.”[38] In some ways, the motivations of this scholarship are somewhat similar to those that Thongchai Winichakul calls “post-national histories” in so far as postcolonial cultural discourse involves the reassessment of history from the perspectives of those who suffered its effects and the contemporary impact.[39] Although the phase of decolonization may be over, the consequences are still felt in the new era of globalization. As Robert C. Young so eloquently described, the postcolonial does not privilege the colonial. It is concerned with colonial history only to the extent that that history has determined the configurations and power structures of the present, to the extent that much of the world still lives in the violent disruptions of its wake, and to the extent that the anti-colonial liberation movements remain the source and inspiration of politics.” If colonial history, particularly in the 19th century, was the history of the imperial appropriation of the world, the history of the 20th century has witnessed the peoples of the world taking power and control back for themselves. . . .[40] Ironically, Southeast Asia—“one of the most colonized regions in the world”—does not have much of a presence in the Postcolonial Studies literature.[41]

The Cold War undoubtedly made already complicated decolonization and nation-building story even more complex.[42] Wang Gungwu thus cautioned against conflating the history of decolonization (and here I would include nation building) with the history of the Cold War, even though he acknowledges that some overlap is inevitable. He asked: “Does the story of American intervention and commitment not overlap with something that should belong to another story, that of the anticommunist Cold War, of keeping the Soviet bear away and containing the Chinese dragon?”[43] Conflation would dilute the explanatory power of the concept. Not everyone agrees with Wang. Karl Hack, for example, believed that the approach should be to “hyperlink the various imperial, globalization, colonial records, radical, counterinsurgency, diplomatic, and nationalist strands into a coherent account.”[44] This is an approach perhaps more suitable for a website than a book. Two notable collections of essays attempt to describe the connection between decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia with uneven success, or in the words of Nayan Chanda: “The agonizing dilemma faced by Asia’s nationalist movements when confronted with the choice between imperialist and colonial powers and the newly rising non-democratic communist movement”[45] .

Finally, I believe the “Narrative Form” is the best and most relevant method to adopt for this study.[46] This is because “narrative occurs in all periods, all places, all societies; narrative begins with the very history of humanity; there is not, there has never been, any people anywhere without narrative. . . . Narrative is international, trans-historical, transcultural; it is there, like life.”[47] The “richest learning experience comes from narrative”—so said the prominent educationist and psychologist Jerome Bruner.[48] Like all stories, we start at a definite point, thus this study will begin with a discussion of when and how the Cold War started in Southeast Asia and conclude with the end of the Cold War—the “pole of attraction of the entire development”—which was wholly unforeseeable from any previous perspective, but perhaps was inevitable all along.[49] In the words of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, “There is no story if our attention is not moved along by a thousand contingencies.”[50]


[1] See Ang Cheng Guan, “The Cold War in Southeast Asia” in Richard H. Immerman and Petra Goedde (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of The Cold War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), Chapter 14; Bradley R. Simpson, “Southeast Asia in the Cold War” in Robert J. McMahon (ed.), The Cold War in the Third World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), Chapter 3. The Routledge Handbook of the Cold War edited by Artemy M. Kalinosky and Craig Daigle (London: Routledge, 2014) has a chapter each on Latin America, Africa, Middle East, and South and Central Asia but not Southeast Asia.

[2] Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), p. 327.

[3] Wong Lin Ken’s review of C.D. Cowan and O.W.Wolters (eds.), Southeast Asian History and Historiography: Essays Presented to D.G.E. Hall (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1976) in Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Volume 8, Number 2, September 1976, p.239

[4] See Odd Arne Westad, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of our Times (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

[5] The Role of Archives in Documenting a Shared Memory of the Cold War: Asia-Pacific Perspective, Seminar Proceedings, 13-14 May 2009 (Singapore: National Archives of Singapore, 2010), pp.8-11.

[6] See Henry Kissinger, A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace, 1812–1822 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1957).

[7] Tuong Vu and Wasana Wongsurawat (eds.), Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p.3.

[8] See Saki R. Dockrill and Geraint Hughes (eds.), Cold War History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).

[9] http://www.h-net.org/annouce/show.cgi?ID=199762; http://www.uccochicago.org/article.html?aid=190, accessed on 12 August 2013.

[10] Vu and Wongsurawat (ed.), Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia, p.3.

[11] A recent book-length study focusing on ‘Thai culture’ is Matthew Phillips, Thailand and the Cold War (London: Routledge, 2016).

[12] Wang Gungwu’s blurb in Tuong Vu and Wasana Wongsurawat (eds.), Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia: Ideology, Identity, and Culture (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). For a recent example of the ‘New Cold War History’, see Matthew Phillips, Thailand and the Cold War (London: Routledge, 2016).

[13] Akira Iriye, “Culture” in Journal of American History, Volume 77, Number 1, June 1990, pp. 99-107.

[14] Vu and Wongsurawat (eds.), Dynamics of the Cold War in Asia, p.12; For the ‘sider’ debate, see Matthew Connelly, “Taking Off the Cold War Lens: Visions of North-South Conflict during the Algerian War of Independence” in American Historical Review, Number 105, June 2000, pp. 739-769.

[15] This quote has been attributed to J.F. Kennedy. Charles W. Freeman, Jr., The Diplomat’s Dictionary (Washington D.C.: United States Institute of Peace Press, 1997), p. 154; For a staunch defence of diplomatic history, see T.G. Otte, “Diplomacy and Decision-making” in Patrick Finney (ed.), International History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), Chapter 1.

[16] See Michael J. Hogan (ed.), America in the World: The Historiography of American Foreign Relations since 1941 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), Chapters 2 through 5.

[17] Holger Nehring, Review-Article “What was the Cold War?” in English Historical Review, Volume CXXVII, Number 527, August 2012, p. 923.

[18] Patrick Finney (ed.), International History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), p. 19.

[19] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant, accessed on 6 August 2013.

[20] Michael Charney, “U Nu, China and the “Burmese” Cold War: Propaganda in Burma in the 1950s” in Zheng Yangwen, Hong Liu and Michael Szonyi (eds.) The Cold War in Asia: The Battle for Hearts and Minds (Ledien: Brill, 2010), Chapter 3.

[21] Patrick Finney (ed.), International History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp.1, 10.

[22] Akira Iriye, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), p. 62.

[23] See Masuda Hajimu, Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015).

[24] Bruce Cumings objects to this labelling as he argues that the process of labelling obscures much of the nuances of the various interpretative slants. See Bruce Cumings, “Revising Postrevisionism,” Or, The Poverty of Theory in Diplomatic History” in Michael J. Hogan (ed.), America in the World: The Historiography of US Foreign Relations since 1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), Chapter 2.

[25] Milton Osborne, Exploring Southeast Asia: A Traveller’s history of the region (Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2002), p. 156. Also see, Milton Osborne, Southeast Asia: An Introductory History, one of the best one-volume history of Southeast Asia now in its 9th edition.

[26] Ibid., p.156. For a summary, see Nicholas Tarling (ed.), The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia, Volume 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), Part 2: From World War Two to the Present.

[27] See John R.W. Smail, “On the possibility of an Autonomous History of Modern Southeast Asia” in Journal of Southeast Asian History 2 (July 1961), pp.72-102.

[28] Reynaldo C. Ileto, “On the Historiography of Southeast Asia and the Philippines: The “Golden Age” of Southeast Asian Stuides—Experiences and Reflections,” http://www.meijigakuin.ac.jp/~iism/frontier/Proceedings/08%20Ileto%20Speech.pdf, accessed on 10 October 2013.

[29] Thongchai Winichakul, “Writing at the Interstices: Southeast Asian Historians and Postnational Histories in Southeast Asia” in Abu Talib Ahmad & Tan Liok Ee (eds.), New Terrains in Southeast Asian History (Singapore: Singapore University Press, 2003), Chapter 1.

[30] Clive J. Christie, A Modern History of Southeast Asia: Decolonization, Nationalism and Separatism (London: I.B. Tauris Publishers, 1996), p. 1; See also, George Dutton, “Threatening Histories: Rethinking the Historiagraphy of Colonial Viet Nam” in Critical Asian Studies, Volume 45, Number 3, 2013, pp.365–392.

[31] Stephen A. Smith (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of The History of Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), Chapter 13.

[32] Thongchai, “Writing at the Interstices,” Chapter 1.

[33] Heonik Kwon, “Cold War in a Vietnamese Community” in Scott Laderman and Edwin A. Martini (eds.), Four Decades On: Vietnam, the United States, and the Legacies of the Second Indochina War (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013), Chapter 4; See also, Heonik Kwon, The Other Cold War (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010).

[34] Ruth T. McVey, The Rise of Indonesian Communism (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1965), p. xiv.

[35] Glenda Sluga, Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), p. 7.

[36] Prasenjit Duara (ed.), Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then (London: Routledge, 2004), p. 2.

[37] John Darwin, “Diplomacy and Decolonization” in Kent Fedorowich and Martin Thomas (eds.), International Diplomacy and Colonial Retreat (London: Frank Cass, 2001), p. 5.

[38] Raymond F. Betts, Decolonization: The Making of the Contemporary World (London: Routledge, 1998), p. 3.

[39] Robert C. Young, Postcolonialism: An Historical Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001), p. 4.

[40] Ibid.

[41] See Chua Beng Huat, “Southeast Asia in Postcolonial Studies: an introduction” in Postcolonial Studies, Volume 11, Number 3, 2008, pp. 231-240

[42] Leading scholars in the field of Postcolonial Studies, such as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi Bhabah are not without their critics. See James D. Le Sueur (ed.), The Decolonization Reader (London: Routledge, 2003).

[43] See Marc Frey, Ronald W. Pruessen, and Tan Tai Yong (eds.), The Transformation of Southeast Asia: International Perspectives on Decolonization (Armonk: M.E. Sharpe, 2003), 270, 272; Chapter 17. See also the essays by Akira Iriye, Prasenjit Duara, and Cary Fraser in this volume.

[44] Ibid., p. 272. See also, Chapter 7.

[45] Christopher E. Goscha and Christian F. Ostermann (eds.), Connecting Histories: Decolonization and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, 1945-1962 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2009), p. x; Frey, Pruessen, and Tan Tai (eds.), The Transformation of Southeast Asia.

[46] See Paul Ricoeur, Time and Narrative, Volumes 1-3, Kathleen Blamey and David Pellauer (transl.), (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1984-1988).

[47] Roland Barthes, Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narratives. The Semiotic Challenge, Richard Howard (transl.), (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 95.

[48] “Jerome Bruner: The lesson of the story” in The Guardian, 27 March 2007, http://www.theguardian.com/education/2007/mar/27/academicexperts.highereducationprof le, accessed on 4 January 2016.

[49] Paul Ricoeur, “Narrative Time” in Critical Inquiry, Volume 7, Number 1, Autumn 1980, p. 174.

[50] Ibid.