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Understanding the dynamics of contemporary Malaysia

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Book launch "Malaisie contemporaine"
Understanding the dynamics of contemporary Malaysia

Monday, April 25, 2022 - 7:30pm
45 min talk, 15 min Q&A
Talk conducted in English

Both continental and insular, culturally diverse and influenced by Asia’s most important civilisations (Islam, China and India), medium-sized but considered an emerging country, the Federation of Malaysia is at the heart of Southeast Asia and its issues. It is, however, one of the most misunderstood and less known states in the region: surprisingly Malaysia seems to be a blind spot in social science research, perhaps because of its historical trajectory without any major geopolitical crisis in domestic or world affairs, amidst an economically prosperous and politically stable environment.

Malaisie Contemporaine (directed by David Delfolie, Nathalie Fau and Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux, Bangkok-Paris: IRASEC-Les Indes Savantes, 2021, 600 p.) is the result of a long-term collaboration between French and Malaysian researchers. It analyses the singularity of a Malaysian model that has so much to contribute empirically and theoretically to the more global understanding of social phenomena. Geographers, economists, anthropologists, historians, political scientists, and literature specialists offer here a rigorous and accessible synthesis of the latest research on Malaysia. This monograph presents the specificities of domestic and foreign policies dominated by diplomatic, regional and security issues. It highlights the originality of an extroverted economic growth, framed by a rentier, investor and redistributor State, as well as it questions the consequences of political choices on the spatial organisation of a country marked by strong territorial disparities, by the proximity of the sea and by the power of the cities.