Title

The Human Geography of Southeast Asia: An Analysis of Postwar Developments

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-1993

Abstract

This paper reviews the directional shifts in human geographical research on Southeast Asia from 1945 to the present. It first begins with an overview of the identity of the region as conceived in various cultural traditions, such as the Greek, Arabic and Indian traditions. This is followed by an evaluation of regional geographies of Southeast Asia in the post-war period, highlighting the pre-eminence of the geostrategic definition of the region and the failure to come to grips with its rich cultural-historical identity. The paper then goes on to show that, arising from the changes in conceptual developments and methodologies in geography, the early regional emphasis then shifted to systematic concerns, with a movement away from 'encyclopaedic' to 'adjectival' geography (economic, urban, population, political, cultural and historical) and a greater emphasis on issues concerning national development. Since the 1980s, there have also been fewer regional works on Southeast Asia and though there are now many more indigenous geographers within the region, much of their research is based on their own national or provincial areas. However, this may shift again, given that rapid economic growth has now given the region prominence. Certainly, there is renewed multi-disciplinary interest in Southeast Asia.

Discipline

Asian Studies | Human Geography

Research Areas

Humanities

Publication

Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography

Volume

14

Issue

2

First Page

229

Last Page

251

ISSN

0129-7619

Identifier

10.1111/j.1467-9493.1993.tb00050.x

Publisher

Wiley

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9493.1993.tb00050.x