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Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness

Overview

Since World War II, students in East and Southeast Asia have led protest movements that toppled authoritarian regimes in countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand. Elsewhere in the region, student protests have shaken regimes until they were brutally suppressed—most famously in China’s Tiananmen Square and in Burma. But despite their significance, these movements have received only a fraction of the notice that has been given to American and European student protests of the 1960s and 1970s. The first...

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Student Activism in Asia: Between Protest and Powerlessness

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Overview

Since World War II, students in East and Southeast Asia have led protest movements that toppled authoritarian regimes in countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand. Elsewhere in the region, student protests have shaken regimes until they were brutally suppressed—most famously in China’s Tiananmen Square and in Burma. But despite their significance, these movements have received only a fraction of the notice that has been given to American and European student protests of the 1960s and 1970s. The first book in decades to redress this neglect, Student Activism in Asia tells the story of student protest movements across Asia.

Taking an interdisciplinary, comparative approach, the contributors examine ten countries, focusing on those where student protests have been particularly fierce and consequential: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. They explore similarities and differences among student movements in these countries, paying special attention to the influence of four factors: higher education systems, students’ collective identities, students’ relationships with ruling regimes, and transnational flows of activist ideas and inspirations.

The authors include leading specialists on student activism in each of the countries investigated. Together, these experts provide a rich picture of an important tradition of political protest that has ebbed and flowed but has left indelible marks on Asia’s sociopolitical landscape.

Contributors: Patricio N. Abinales, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Prajak Kongkirati, Thammasat U, Thailand; Win Min, Vahu Development Institute; Stephan Ortmann, City U of Hong Kong; Mi Park, Dalhousie U, Canada; Patricia G. Steinhoff, U of Hawaii, Manoa; Mark R. Thompson, City U of Hong Kong; Teresa Wright, California State U, Long Beach.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816679690
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 5.51 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Meredith L. Weiss is associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Edward Aspinall is professor of political science and head of the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University. 

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Understanding Student Activism in Asia

Meredith L. Weiss, Edward Aspinall, and Mark R. Thompson

1. China: Regime Shakers and Regime Supporters

Teresa Wright

2. Japan: Student Activism in an Emerging Democracy

Patricia G. Steinhoff

3. Hong Kong: Problems of Identity and Independence

Stephan Ortmann

4. Taiwan: Resisting Control of Campus and Polity

Teresa Wright

5. South Korea: Passion, Patriotism, and Student Radicalism

Mi Park

6. Indonesia: Moral Force Politics and the Struggle against Authoritarianism

Edward Aspinall

7. Burma: A Historic Force, Forcefully Met

Win Min

8. Malaysia: More Transformed than Transformational

Meredith L. Weiss

9. Thailand: The Cultural Politics of Student Resistance

Prajak Kongkirati

10. The Philippines: Students, Activists, and Communists in Movement Politics

Patricio N. Abinales

Conclusion: Trends and Patterns in Student Activism in Asia

Edward Aspinall and Meredith L. Weiss

Contributors

Index

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