Cover of Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia by Edited by Muthiah Alagappa
Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia
The Quest for Moral Authority
Edited by Muthiah Alagappa

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1995
464 pages.
$32.95

Paper ISBN: 9780804725606

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Despite the end of the Cold War, security continues to be a critical concern of Asian states. Allocations of state revenues to the security sector continue to be substantial and have, in fact, increased in several countries. As Asian nations construct a new security architecture for the Asia-Pacific region, Asian security has received increased attention by the scholarly community. But most of that scholarship has focused on specific issues or selected countries. This book aims to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of Asian security by investigating conceptions of security in sixteen Asian countries. The book undertakes an ethnographic, country-by-country study of how Asian states conceive of their security. For each country, it identifies and explains the security concerns and behavior of central decision makers, asking who or what is to be protected, against what potential threats, and how security policies have changed over time. This inside-out or bottom-up approach facilitates both identification of similarities and differences in the security thinking and practice of Asian countries and exploration of their consequences. The crucial insights into the dynamics of international security in the region provided by this approach can form the basis for further inquiry, including debates about the future of the region.

About the author

Muthiah Alagappa is Distinguished Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. He is the editor of Asian Security Order: Instrumental and Normative Features (Stanford, 2003), Coercion and Governance: The Declining Political Role of the Military in Asia (Stanford, 2001), Asian Security Practice: Material and Ideational Influences (Stanford, 1998), and Political Legitimacy in Southeast Asia: The Quest for Moral Authority (Stanford, 1995).

"An important contribution to reflection on legitimacy and democratization as well as to the study of Southeast Asian politics. . . . The book aids our grasp of the problem of legitimacy, and carefully details the way in which it is being played out in one part of the world."

Journal of Democracy