Gabriel Camară of the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Geography and Geology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, in Romania has a new review of the French-language annual compendium on Southeast Asia, L’Asie du Sud-Est 2022: bilan, enjeux et perspectives.
Produced and published by the Bangkok-based Institut de recherche sur l’Asie du Sud-Est contemporaine (IRASEC), this year’s edition appears as tensions rise between China and the United States. The editors, Christine Cabasset and Jérôme Samuel, argue that this competition “increases Southeast Asian ‘centrality’.”
L’Asie du Sud-Est 2022 offers an overview of the region, with analysis of the political, economic, social, environmental, and diplomatic events of 2021, both in the region and in each of its countries. The book begins with “Southeast Asia in the Great Game amid the Burmese Crisis and Health Crisis,” as an overview, and then has five thematic “dossiers” which address: Chinese influence; tourism during the pandemic; land and real estate ownership by foreigners; and the internationalisation of higher education. This is followed by a discussion of escalating tensions in the South China Sea and the possibility of a European “Third Way” of easing tensions between the USA and China, meaning a collaboration of the European Union and ASEAN.
The country studies that follow each have the same structure: analysis of the country’s current international and national context, followed by a monthly chronology listing some important events in 2021, and then two pen portraits of significant personalities. Each country chapter ends with a representative image.
Camară concludes that “this edited book is a useful compendium of information for both specialist and general readers. The specialist will find a rigorous analysis and ideas for new scientific explorations while the book’s accessible language permits a wider readership.”
Like its predecessor volumes, this edition is free to download.