Studies of the Tai world often treat “state” and “community” as polar opposites: the state produces administrative uniformity and commercialization while community sustains tradition, local knowledge, and subsistence economy. This assumption leads to the conclusion that the traditional community is undermined by the modern forces of state incorporation and market penetration. States rule and communities resist. Tai Lands and Thailand: Community and State in Southeast Asia, edited by Andrew Walker, takes a very different view. Using thematic and ethnographic studies from Thailand, Laos, Burma, and southern China, the authors describe modern forms of community where state power intersects with markets, livelihoods, and aspirations.
July 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3359-6 / $29.00 (PAPER)
Community still provides a rallying point for urban low-income residents of the off-street neighborhoods (kampung) in Yogyakarta and in other cities of Java. However, the nature of community changed dramatically during the economic and political transition that followed the fall of the Soeharto regime in Indonesia. Under Soeharto, kampung residents both cooperated in the supervision of their lives by the state and explored forms of sociality that gave some protection from collusion with the state. With the demise of the New Order and the rise of policies promoting decentralization, urban society changed under the impact of political reform, globalization, global and local patterns of consumerism, and kampung expressions of community. In Kampung, Islam and State in Urban Java, Patrick Guinness examines these processes in terms of economic, political and ritual patterns, and from the perspectives of kampung leaders and enterpreneurs, kampung youth, formal and casual labor, and NGO volunteers working in these neighborhoods.
July 2009 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3360-2 / $32.00 (PAPER)