Vol. 2, No. 1, Note from Editorial Committee

Contents>> Vol. 2, No. 1

Note from Editorial Committee

The central concern of this special issue is to challenge the state-centered paradigm and to reconsider the place of people in the geographical margins of continental Southeast Asia in history. Much recent literature on the region has dealt with borderlands and the role and position of upland minorities. The long-held view of upland vs. lowland—with the former being viewed as stateless and the latter as holding state power—has been re-examined in the interest of seeking alternatives to the statist perspective. Our regular readers may notice that some of the authors in the previous issue (Vol. 1, No. 3) overlap with those of the present issue. Both issues tackle the statist paradigm and focus on the margins. Both were triggered by these recent concerns. However, the two issues diverge in their purposes and key questions. In the previous issue on “Deinstitutionalizing Religion,” the primary question was how those in the margins may challenge the definition and institutionalization of religion, primarily by the state, in continental Southeast Asia, thereby questioning the construction and contours of “religion.” The present issue, on the other hand, deals more directly with the making of the state itself and “its” region by re-considering the upland-lowland relationships through governance, polity-making, religion, and the marke t. It addresses directly the upland-lowland relationship and the recent publication by James Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed (2009).