Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia Issue 27
Joel Selway and Allen Hicken

Editors’ Introduction– Remapping Siam: Regions and Identity in Thailand

Thailand has long been perceived by outsiders as an ethnically homogenous country. This is not by accident. It reflects a purposeful government program of nation-building that began in the early 1900s to counter threats from encroaching imperial powers. Understanding that shared ethnicity was the basis of European territorial principles, the Siamese government, for example, ceased referring to the peoples of Lanna and the Khorat Plateau as Lao, giving them instead regional designations: Northern Thai and Northeastern Thai, respectively. This was the official narrative of the Thai nation for decades, and it was centered firmly on nation, religion, and monarchy, which meant: a homogenous ethnically Thai nation speaking a unified Thai language (Central Thai); the Buddhist religion with a new, highly centralized sangha (order of monks); and the Siamese monarchy, with the royal families of the newly incorporated regions gradually being phased out. The nationalist project came under stress as Thailand underwent rapid economic development in the second half of the 20th century. With greater financial security, Thais increasingly valued self-expression, [...]

Jacob I. Ricks

Joel Sawat Selway


  • Message from the Editor: This collection of articles from the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia (KRSEA) is published with the financial support of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. We have compiled all the English articles from Issue 13 (March 2013), to Issue 20 (September 2016). This period marked a turning point for KRSEA with the re-launch of the website in March 2013 and the new online archive of earlier issues. That was when I was assigned as the chief editor of the KRSEA. DOWNLOAD THE FULL MANUSCRIPT (pdf – 105 MB) Looking back to the original KRSEA, it was launched in March 2002 by CSEAS to promote exchange among the intellectual communities of Southeast Asia. The primary goal was to bring news of important publications, debates, and ideas into region-wide circulation through lively and accessible writing. [...]


Issue 27

Migrant Workers and the PAP: Who is Dependent on Whom?

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other high-ranking ministers of the Singapore government have repeatedly expressed gratitude to migrant construction workers for their role in building the gleaming city-state. These low-paid […]

Special Issue Calls for Proposals

Pandemic Pedagogy- _Reflections on Teaching in Times of Global Disruption KRSEA Call for proposals
Special Issue

Call For Proposals for Special Issue of KRSEA

Dear all, This is to announce the call for proposals for a special issue of Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia to be published in Early 2021. “Pandemic Pedagogy: Reflections on Teaching in Times of Global […]

Calling Filmmakers in Southeast Asia

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, is calling for documentaries for the 9th Visual Documentary Project.


This year’s topic is LOVE in Southeast Asia. We welcome any documentaries that deal with issues relating to love in the region.


Find out more:

Book Reviews

Review– The Big Buddha Bicycle Race

Issue 27

Title: The Big Buddha Bicycle Race  Author: Terence A. Harkin Publisher: Silkworm Books (2017), 396 pages In cyberspace, the word Vietnam comes up as a metaphor for the threat of annihilation followed by a disastrous […]