Locating Liberalisms in Southeast Asia : An Introductory Essay

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)Editorial Preface

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Journal / PublicationAsian Studies Review
Issue number1
Online published12 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023


This Introduction argues that Southeast Asian liberalisms have often been misrecognised–or even ignored–by scholars because liberals in the region do not conform to the expectations of ‘benchmark’ liberalism of the West. It points to efforts by liberal actors to promote a viable political discourse or to defend a liberal minimum in hostile environments, often leading localised pragmatic liberalisms to travel far from the ideals of benchmark liberalism. In seeking to advance the study of liberalism in Southeast Asian Studies it introduces the work of two major theorists, Duncan Bell and Michael Freeden, whose distinctive approaches offer an opportunity to think of liberalism in ways that enable its identification in Southeast Asian locations. It then provides brief summaries of each of the papers, which offer comparative or country-level analysis, bringing into view historical and contemporary manifestations of liberalism in the region. It concludes with comments about possible research paths. © 2022 Asian Studies Association of Australia

Research Area(s)

  • democratisation, ethno-nationalism, ideology, Liberalism, majority rule, Southeast Asia

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. With consent from the author(s) concerned, the Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on the existing academic department affiliation of the author(s).

Citation Format(s)

Locating Liberalisms in Southeast Asia: An Introductory Essay. / Connors, Michael K.; Thompson, Mark R.
In: Asian Studies Review, Vol. 47, No. 1, 2023, p. 1-15.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)Editorial Preface