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Shaped by its history, geography and position as a major crossroads of trade, Southeast Asia is a region of vast social, economic and political diversity. Despite their diversity, Southeast Asian countries are attempting to forge a common regional identity to seek mutually acceptable and effective solutions to key regional health challenges. This article is based on a paper from the Lancet Series on Health in Southeast Asia in which a team of researchers, including Jamal Hashim of the UNU International Institute for Global Health, presents key demographic and epidemiological changes in the region, explores the challenges facing health systems, and draws attention to the potential for regional collaboration.
Neither a static nor a revolutionary society, Thailand has always been able to harness the talents of its people, make effective use of its natural environment, and progress at an evolutionary pace. The tendency of the Central Thai—for centuries the controlling group in Thai society—to eliminate or suppress ethnic or religious differences was tempered by the Chakkri Dynasty, which had, for the most part, fostered toleration since assuming the monarchy in Another traditional system of complex values and behaviors that the majority of Thai share is Theravada Buddhism.
This entry reviews the historical archaeology of South and Southeast Asia from the inside looking out and from the outside looking in. Most historical archaeological research has conventionally taken place in the New World, where a significant divide exists between pre-Columbian and post-Columbian eras. Pan-Eurasian developments swept across South and Southeast Asia for millennia before Columbus set sail for the East Indies, so no clear break is evident between an earlier period of cultural and physical isolation and a later period of contact, disease, and colonization. To reconcile this dissonance between conventionally defined historical archaeology and the Asian sequences, this entry defines historical archaeology as the archaeology of capitalism, where capitalism involves the operation of intensive interregional economic interaction.
The articles under this heading describe the societies of the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia. Discussions of Asian philosophical, political, and religious thought will be found under Buddhism; Chinese political thought; Hinduism; Indian political thought; islam; Pollution. The social structure of some of the societies of Asia is discussed in Caste; Kinship; Modernization, article on the bourgeoisie in modernizing societies.
Muslims can be found in all mainland countries, but the most significant populations are in southern Thailand and western Burma Arakan. The Cham people of central Vietnam and Cambodia are also Muslim. Islam is the state religion in Malaysia and Brunei.
History of Southeast Asiahistory of Southeast Asia from prehistoric times to the contemporary period. Knowledge of the early prehistory of Southeast Asia has undergone exceptionally rapid change as a result of archaeological discoveries made since the s, although the interpretation of these findings has remained the subject of extensive debate. Nevertheless, it seems clear that the region has been inhabited from the earliest times.
The authors state that all data necessary for confirming the conclusions presented in the article are represented fully within the article. Archaeology, linguistics, and increasingly genetics are clarifying how populations moved from mainland Asia, through Island Southeast Asia, and out into the Pacific during the farming revolution. Yet key features of this process remain poorly understood, particularly how social behaviors intersected with demographic drivers to create the patterns of genomic diversity observed across Island Southeast Asia today. Such questions are ripe for computer modeling.
The earliest Homo sapiens presence in Mainland Southeast Asia can be traced back to 50, years ago and to at least 40, years ago in Maritime Southeast Asia. As early as 10, years ago, Hoabinhian settlers had developed a tradition and culture of distinct artefact and tool production. During the NeolithicAustroasiatic peoples populated Indochina via land routes and sea-borne Austronesian immigrants preferably settled in insular Southeast Asia.
Editor: Dale Eickelman. Brill's Social, Economic and Political Studies of the Middle East and Asia series presents the results of scholarly research into contemporary social, cultural, economic and political conditions in the Middle East and Asia. It covers historical themes from the nineteenth century onward primarily as they contribute to understanding current issues.