nation building
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Alexandre Barthel ◽  
Wasana Wongsurawat

The origins of the Cold War in Southeast Asia are most often located in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, in the late 1940s. Historians sometimes trace its origins to Japan's expansionist phase in the 1930s, which accelerated the decline of the European and American colonial order in this part of Asia. However, the necessity of the fight against communism appeared very clearly in the minds of the leaders of the major colonial powers well before the 1930s. Focused on the case of Siam, this article aims to show that the origins of the Cold War in Southeast Asia dated back to as early as the 1920s with the emergence of international cooperation in the fight against communism and the Thai elite's manipulation of imperialist powers to further their own political agenda and support their dominance in the domestic political arena. The Cold War in Southeast Asia was not only about the postwar fight against the spread of communism, but also closely intertwined with the decolonisation and nation-building efforts of every country in the region — including of the so-called un-colonised Thailand.

Significance Non-economic priorities such as nation-building and partisan political interests have often shaped large developmental projects in the Western Balkans, facilitated by no-questions-asked capital from China, Russia and Turkey. The COVID-19 pandemic has created the opportunity to attract more promising projects, not least in the pharma and digital sectors. More vigorous assessment of the environmental and economic consequences of state-led development could facilitate the region’s prosperity and alignment with the EU. Impacts Civil society groups will put significant pressure on governments and investors to raise standards. Calls for the EU to support civil society and activists in Western Balkans directly will intensify. Serbia’s economic assertiveness could contribute to isolating Kosovo and encouraging breakaway tendencies in Bosnia’s Republika Srpska (RS).

2022 ◽  
Vol 21 ◽  
pp. 339-364
William Ryle-Hodges

This paper extends the emphasis on contingency and context in Islamic ethical traditions into the distinctly modern context of late 19th century Khedival Egypt. I draw attention to the way Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s engagement with Islamic ethical traditions was shaped by his practice in addressing the broad social and political questions of his context to do with nation-building and political journalism. As a bureaucrat and state publicist, he took pre-modern Islamic ethical concepts into the emerging discursive field of the modern state and the public sphere in Egypt. Looking at a series of newspaper articles for the state newspaper, al-Waqāʾiʿ al-miṣriyya, I show how he articulated an ethics of citizenship by defining a modern civic notion of adab that he called “political adab.” He conceived of this adab as the answer to the problem of how a unified nation emerges from the condition of “freedom” by which journalists and the reading public at the time were conceptualizing the politics of the ʿUrābī revolution in late 1881. This was a “freedom” of the public sphere that allowed for free speech and the power of public opinion to shape governance. ‘Political adab’ would be the virtue or situational skill, internalized in each participant in the public sphere, that would regulate this freedom, ensuring that it produces unity rather than anarchy. I argue that adab here enshrined ʿAbduh’s holistic approach to nation-building; Egypt with political rights would be a nation in which the very idea of the nation is comprehensively embedded—through adab—in people’s lives, animating their “souls”. This was a politics conceived not as a self-standing domain, but as growing out of society, becoming thereby an authentic unity and self-regulating “life”. In developing this vision, ʿAbduh was amplifying pre-modern meanings of adab implying wide breadth of knowledge, good taste, and the virtues, labelled in the paper as ‘comprehensivness,’ ‘consensus’ and ‘habitus.’ Keywords: Muḥammad ʿAbduh, Adab, Freedom, Nation, Politics, Egypt

Anna Gasperini

Abstract This article compares images of food as temptation, and hunger as test, in two samples of late-nineteenth century British and Italian children’s literature. It reads the narratives alongside coeval popular medical manuals on child health, examining recurring descriptions of children as natural gluttons in works dedicated to child nutrition. Putting the select fiction and non-fiction in dialogue with moral, scientific, and nation-building middle-class discourses circulating in both countries, the article finds that the ‘gluttonous child’ narrative was both transnational and transtextual.

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