Issue 7

States, Peoples, and Borders in Southeast Asia

Many borderlands in Southeast Asia—in southern Thailand, East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Sulawesi, Aceh, southern Philippines, Myanmar—have become violent. In the peripheral spaces of Southeast Asian nation-states, people flee from horrific acts of violence committed by state forces, military units, border guards, police, vigilante groups, and armed guerrillas. In these violent borderlands, [...]

The Indonesian Migrants of Davao and Cotabato

The more recent Indonesian migrants to the Philippines are collectively called Maroris by the natives of Davao. They are called Maroris because in coming to southern Mindanao, a lot of them went by way of Marori Island, the northernmost island of the Sangihe Island chain in Indonesia. Marori was designated as the exit point for Indonesians from the Sangihe Islands, with the point of entry at [...]

Guns and Gas in Southeast Asia: Transnational Flows in the Burma-Bangladesh Borderland

The Burma-Bangladesh borderland? 1 At first sight, this seems to be one of the world’s most marginal places. In the current global power scheme, neither Burma (Myanmar) nor Bangladesh is of much concern. The margins of these societies, and what happens there, have little world media appeal. In the national media in Burma and Bangladesh, the borderland that joins them is rarely put in the [...]

The Writing on the Wall: Marking the Limits of Ethnicity on China’s Borders

Adapted from Song and Silence: Ethnic Revival on China’s Southwest Borders by Sara L. M. Davis. Copyright (c) 2005 Columbia University Press. Reprinted with the permission of the publisher. The teak pillars that held up the eaves of the high temple roof outside had begun to bend and bow under its weight. Inside, the main hall of the temple was a dark forest of red lacquered pillars and handmade [...]

Working with Spanish Colonial Records and Archives: Reflections and Practicalities

Having recently completed several months of archival research on the early Spanish colonial period in Mindanao, I thought it would be useful to share with other potential researchers and students the practical and personal issues I encountered during that time, with the objective of making their turn less disorientating and hopefully more productive. When my archival research project was still in [...]

Vigilantes and Gangsters in the Borderland of West Kalimantan, Indonesia

Persons who find it politic to hurriedly shift from one side of the border to the other can hardly be considered as valuable citizens of either State. 1 Borderlands have long been the sites of violence, the result either of government incapacity or disinterest in peripheral regions, or of occasional attempts by states to assert control over “recalcitrant” border peoples (Paredes 1958; Wadley [...]

Gendered Crossings: Gender and Migration in Muslim Communities in Thailand’s Southern Border Region

Migration and Communities Along the Border “In the past, things were the opposite. Malaysians used to come here looking for work. Now, everybody here goes to Malaysia for work.” This was the refrain I heard countless times in my research community, several kilometers from a Thai-Malaysian border checkpoint in Narathiwat province. Labor migration to Malaysia, briefly mentioned in the first [...]