Download Fluid Iron: State Formation in Southeast Asia by Tony Day PDF

By Tony Day

Fluid Iron is the 1st prolonged therapy of nation formation in Southeast Asia from early to modern occasions and the 1st book-length research of Western ancient and ethnographic writing at the zone. It contains serious exams of the paintings of Clifford Geertz, O. W. Wolters, Benedict Anderson, and different significant students who've written on early, colonial, and sleek Southeast Asian historical past and tradition. applying the information of Weber, Marx, Foucault, and postmodern and postcolonial conception, Tony Day argues that tradition needs to be restored to the examine of Southeast Asian heritage in order that the nation and ancient advancements within the area could be again to their very own "alternative" old contexts and trajectories. He employs a variety of modern scholarship, in addition to Southeast Asian literary and ancient texts, inscriptions, and temples to discover the categories of recommendations and practices -- kinship networks, cosmologies, gender identities, bureaucracies, rituals, violence and aesthetics -- which were used for hundreds of years to construct states. hugely readable and accessibly written, Fluid Iron demonstrates that Southeast Asian nation construction has taken position in part of the area that has regularly been a crossroads of cultural and transcultural swap. He urges Southeast Asians to profit extra concerning the heritage in their personal country formations to allow them to shield not just human freedom, but additionally the "incongruity" in their special zone within the years forward.

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How do we get from the fluid, autonomous, flexible, power- and prowess-filled worlds evoked in the writings of Benedict Anderson and O. W. Wolters to the “patrimonial” familydominated scenes of the colonial and postcolonial eras? Perhaps colonialism and capitalism should be seen as reinforcing and fulfilling, rather than only transforming, state-forming impulses and responses that have a long history in the region. Wolters, drawing on the work of Thomas Kirsch on the role of 42 Chapter 2 bilateral kinship in the organization of society in Angkor, has made the influential argument that in early Southeast Asia the “cultural emphasis [was] on ‘person’ and ‘achievment’ rather than on ‘group’ and ‘hereditary’ status” (Kirsch 1976; Wolters 1994, 6).

Both colonial regimes used these elites to exploit Balinese labor, creating class tensions. The Dutch politicized the issue of caste privilege and Balinese culture, while the Japanese taught Balinese new forms of anti-Western, nationalist organization. After 1945, the weakness of the central state allowed both old and new kinds of political conflict to take place on Bali, intensified by the participation of the military and the police. The potential for intra-Bali violence was also increased by the fact that states encompassing the whole of Bali were historically weak, so that “smaller state-like structures” gained in influence (Robinson 1995, 311–312).

How do we get from the fluid, autonomous, flexible, power- and prowess-filled worlds evoked in the writings of Benedict Anderson and O. W. Wolters to the “patrimonial” familydominated scenes of the colonial and postcolonial eras? Perhaps colonialism and capitalism should be seen as reinforcing and fulfilling, rather than only transforming, state-forming impulses and responses that have a long history in the region. Wolters, drawing on the work of Thomas Kirsch on the role of 42 Chapter 2 bilateral kinship in the organization of society in Angkor, has made the influential argument that in early Southeast Asia the “cultural emphasis [was] on ‘person’ and ‘achievment’ rather than on ‘group’ and ‘hereditary’ status” (Kirsch 1976; Wolters 1994, 6).

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