A Call for Papers for a panel in next year’s EuroSEAS conference, convened by Jan Dressler.
State and Society in Pre-Modern Southeast Asia: Current Research Into Traditional Forms of Governance
Panel Convener: Jan R. Dressler (PhD candidate, University of Hamburg)
Pre-modern Southeast Asia, with its long-documented history of statecraft and a particularly diverse landscape of political institutions and processes, offers ample opportunity to explore the human capability of building and maintaining lasting communities. Since the advent of colonial modernity in the region this rich heritage has been the object of scholarly attention, popular imagination and political instrumentalization. The profoundly transformative processes of decolonization and globalization have accentuated questions of indigenous identity and raised interest in pre-colonial traditions and knowledge.
Scholars of the pre-modern period of Southeast Asian history combine an expertise in analyzing pertinent source material with methodologies and theoretical models of explanation from various disciplines. On the basis of carefully weighed evidence, we contribute fresh interpretations of past experiences to current discourses in the academic community as well as society at large.
This panel is devoted to the study of pre-modern political systems of Southeast Asia, and in particular the structures and procedures that allowed for efficient decision making in matters of public interest and their execution. The pre-modern era of Southeast Asian history we broadly define as the time period between the Mongol invasions of Southeast Asia of the 13th century and the establishment of colonial regimes in the 19th century. The panel shall provide a venue for the presentation of ongoing or recently completed research on traditional forms of governance and is open to various methodological and theoretical approaches.
Fellow researchers are cordially invited to contribute papers which might address, but are not limited to, the following issues:
What mechanisms allowed for popular influence on decision-making processes under non-democratic systems of government?
What procedures were instituted to gather and interpret information relevant in the decision-making process?
How can the examination of works of art and literature as well as performances of public functions contribute to the understanding of power relations in pre-modern political systems?
What were modalities of pre-modern inter-state relations?
How did received tradition and individual agency influence institutional change?