Connectivity and Transformation in Southeast

CSEAS-KASEAS Joint Conference 2020

“Connectivity and Transformation in Southeast Asia”

DATE: 20 November 2020

Online Registration

Please register by November 18th.
We will send you the Zoom link by the 19th.
For inquiries please contact the following address.

SESSION 1: 09:20-10:20
SESSION 2: 11:20-13:10
SESSION 3: 14:30-16:00
SESSION 4: 16:20-18:10


09:00 – 09:20 WELCOME REMARKS
YOKO HAYAMI | Director, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
YEONSIK JUNG | President, Korean Association of Southeast Asian Studies
09:20 Presenter | MINJI YOO | Jeonbuk National University
Changes in a Web of Authorities When the State Met Mega Development Projects (Abstract)
Discussant: Julius Bautista | CSEAS
09:40 Presenter | THEARA THUN | CSEAS
Scholarly Monks and Cambodia’s National Buddhism under Sihanouk’s Rule (Abstract)
Discussant: Yeonsik Jeong | Changwon National University
10:00 – 10:20 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

11:20 Presenter | MOON SUK HONG | Busan University of Foreign Studies
The Young Urban Multiple: Re-Constructing Prosperity and Development in Southeast Asia’s Non-Places (Abstract)
Discussant: Decha Tangseefa | CSEAS
11:40 Presenter | MARI ADACHI | CSEAS
The New Interpretation of Zakat (Islamic Almsgiving) Usage in Urban Area of Indonesia (Abstract)
Discussant: Hyung-jun Kim | Kangwon National University
12:00 Presenter | EUNHUI EOM | Seoul National University
Metro Manila, the City That Never Sleeps (Abstract)
Discussant: Julius Bautista | CSEAS
Capital Appropriation of Slum Dwellers’ Food Consumption: Evidence from Metro-Manila (Abstract)
Discussant: Bub Mo Jung | Pukyung National University
12:40– 13:10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

Chairperson | YOKO HAYAMI | CSEAS
14:30 Presenter | YOUNGRAN YANG | Jeonbuk National University
Perceptions of Sexual Infidelity of Cambodian Adolescents (Abstract)
Discussant: Satoru Kobayashi | CSEAS
14:50 Presenter | BOKYUNG SEO | Yonsei University
Care and Power in Mainland Southeast Asia (Abstract)
Discussant: Yoko Hayami | CSEAS
15:10 Presenter | CHIKA YAMADA | CSEAS
Quality of Life Among People Who Use Drugs Living in Poor Urban Communities in the Philippines (Abstract)
Discussant: Yoonah Oh | Seoul National University
15:30 – 16:00 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

16:20 Presenter | NUR AISYAH KOTARUMALOS | Seoul National University
Indonesian Highly Skilled Migration in South Korea (Abstract)
Discussant: Mario Ivan Lopez | CSEAS
16:40 Presenter | HUA XIAOBO | CSEAS
Tracking Agrarian Transformation Due to Horticultural Booms in the China-Myanmar Borderland (Abstract)
Discussant: Heesuk Kim | JISEAS
17:00 Presenter | HAN WOO LEE | Sogang University
The Vietnam War in Korean Veterans’ Hearts and Minds (Abstract)
Discussant: Masako Ito | ASAFAS
17:20 Presenter | JONGHO KIM | Sogang University Institute for East Asian Studies
OCBC in Asian Wartime Institutions -Struggle for Survival of Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Under the Changing Regimes? (Abstract)
Discussant: Fumiharu Mieno | CSEAS
17:40 – 18:10 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


The CSEAS-KASEAS Joint Conference 2020 is held on Zoom:

  • • Each session has presentations and discussions
  • • 15 minutes of presentation
  • • 5 minutes of discussion by discussant
  • • 30 minutes Q&A for all presentations

Notes: We will strictly control the time during each presentation. The first bell will ring at ”3 more minutes”. The second bell will ring at the end of 15 minutes. Please end your presentation. The third and last bell rings at the end of the 5 minutes allotted for the discussant.

For every session, the chairperson will collect questions on the Zoom Chat and select a few questions for the speaker during Q&A session.

All participants will be muted, and all interactions with the speaker will be done through the Zoom Chat by the chairperson.

The secretariat may be recording the seminar. Please note that both video and sound might be recorded.

Abuse of the seminar will not be tolerated.

Some logistics may change before the seminar: please check this webpage for any change.




Visiting Fellow, Institute for Southeast Asian Studies, Jeonbuk National University

Title: Changes in a Web of Authorities When the State Met Mega Development Projects

The historic agreement on Maritime boundary between Timor-Leste and Australia signed in 2018 let Timor-Leste get closer to the actualisation of their post-independent blueprint. Tasi-Mane Project is the name for the development blueprint of Timor-Leste government described in the country’s Strategic Development Plan. It aims to cultivate the national petroleum industry by establishing an industrial cluster on the south coast from Suai to Beaço. Under this plan, it carries out massive construction of infrastructures such as seaport, airport, and highways for logistics and a housing complex, shipbuilding and repairing facilities. This mega-development project has, however, undoubtedly raised social and political contestations and may result in changes in power relations among various authorities. In such a hybrid society where various authorities (i.e. legal-rational, religious and traditional authorities) co-exist and govern society through the webbed relationship, the government-led development strategy may lead to changes of the governance structure accompanying those of power relations. This paper aims to shed light on these potential relational changes by reviewing ethnographical research regarding the government-led mage development projects, particularly in war-affected and hybrid societies. The paper is consisted of followed: it firstly presents the complexity of Timorese society and second, reviews ethnographical research on the government-led mega development projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. Finally, it suggests potential scenarios of how the mega-development project can change the web of authorities and governance in the process of Timorese state formation. Since the relational changes are vital to understanding governance in such a hybrid society, this research can contribute to apprehend hybrid society’s state formation by emphasising on power dynamics within it.


Postdoctoral Fellow, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: Scholarly Monks and Cambodia’s National Buddhism under Sihanouk’s Rule

Local production of knowledge in late-colonial and post-independence Southeast Asia has a strong association with the politics of decolonization, nation-building, and early Cold War.
While critical analysis has been directed towards the production of knowledge as well as political thoughts advocated by secular nationalist leaders, scholarship produced by religious leaders during this period has received less attention in the epistemological construction of nation-state in the region. This paper explores historical texts of leading Buddhist monks who saw the genealogy of Cambodian Buddhism as the sole representation of collective imagination.
Critically examining the writings of religious leaders such as Chuon Nath (1883-1969), Huot That (1883-1975), and Pang Khat (1910-1975), the paper considers how these monks’ scholarship elaborated Prince Norodom Sihanouk’s effort to build Cambodia as a Buddhist kingdom as well as Sihanouk’s neutral foreign policy during the 1950s and 1960s.
It also discusses their attempts to construct a direct and timeless connection between Cambodian Buddhism and that of India and to portray Cambodia as the center for spreading Buddhism in the region. The paper concludes that, through considering the historical texts of Buddhist leaders, late-colonial and post-independence Cambodia can be understood as an era of epistemological construction where Buddhist monks’ historical representations configured contemporary national and regional political ideology and, at the same time, constructed a new form of collective imagination that went above and beyond the genealogy of Cambodian royal court histories.



Assistant Professor, Busan University of Foreign Studies

Title: The Young Urban Multiple: Re-Constructing Prosperity and Development in Southeast Asia’s Non-Places

Southeast Asian cities are changing and modernizing. It is not surprising today more than half of the world population lives in cities, and developing countries have sustained decades of rapid and sustained urbanization and development. This growth of cities is now becoming one of the key features of our times in Southeast Asia. This research, The Young Urban Mutiple is located at the intersection of urbanism, development anthropology, Southeast Asian Studies and sought to consider the potential for the form of the city and the nature of urban experience to inform memory work that is politically and ethically engaged, allowing for productive conflict, identity, multiplicity.

In particular, this research will explore the lives and narratives of three youths in three peripheral urban spaces within and around Yangon and Phenom Penh, who tend to travel between daily places of laboring and non-places for networking and identity building. Traditional concepts of nonplace of Marc Augé (2014) emphasize the anonymous and lonely characteristics of non-place, the human beings remain anonymous and that do not hold enough significance to be regarded as “places”. In this research, on the contrary, the non-places in this research are appeared to be anonymous and lonely for the many, but behind the backdoors of toilets and cleaning staff room, this space offers such important space such as entertaining, learning, and even political spaces for reconstructing their versions of better lives and prosperity as well as critical opportunities to build common, but ‘renewed’ social and digital references to a specific group. The participated youth in this research found their shopping malls as a desired symbol of ‘development’ and ‘modernity’ and laboring in this nonplace is a critical opportunity for not only building individual prosperity but also doing their ‘shares’ to the national development. Based on the author’s four sets of previous ethnographic works (Hong, 2016, 2019, 2020a, 2020b) as well as the socio-anthropological re-conceptualization of places and non-paces from the perspectives of urban youths in Southeast Asia, research will focus on an ethnographic search of ordinary non-places such as shopping malls, parking lots, internet cafes in and around Yangon and Phenom Penh city.

KEYWORDS: Urban Youth, Non-Places, Multiplicity, Ethnography, Yangon, Phenom Penh


Researcher, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: The New Interpretation of Zakat (Islamic Almsgiving) Usage in Urban Area of Indonesia

One of the fundamental religious obligations of Islam, along with prayer, fasting, and pilgrimage is almsgiving (zakat). Modern state systems have institutionalized the practice in many counties with the establishment of zakat management organizations with modern systems for the collection, management, and distribution of funds. Zakat often emerges as a contemporary form of institutionalized and organized charity. Recent studies of Islamic charity or Muslim philanthropy has too much focused-on processes of subjectification through which givers and recipients of charity are habituated to an ethic of piety, social responsibility, and neoliberal economic virtuosity. It can be said that research on Islamic charity focuses only on charitable givers, and the objectification of the poor as recipients is routinely taken for granted, with only neglected or tepid debate about the agency of the recipients. Therefore, this paper attempts to correct the imbalance in this previous group of researches by focusing specifically on the recipients rather than the givers of zakat in Indonesia. To conclude, this paper has shown that there is a new practice in Indonesia that circulates the collected zakat funds in the form of interest free loans rather than benefits. By clarifying the actuality of the loan, I argue that zakat is not a simple “pious neoliberalism” that trivializes the potential of zakat as an “Islamic charity”, but a wider system to develop a new arena of intervention and, without abandoning the
original programs of poverty alleviation, enhance Muslim community development and empowerment.


Research Fellow, The Center for Social Science, Seoul National University

Title: Metro Manila, the City That Never Sleeps

As of 2015, population of Metro Manila, the largest city in ASEAN, is over 12 million. This city has continued to grow horizontally from the walled city built by Spanish 400 years ago until the mid-1990s and recently we could observe another urban landscape changes of vertical expansion with several new sub-cities. However, the city lacks region-wide governance system, and mixed landscapes of slums and gated cities are very cluttered.

This paper explores urban development history, current characteristics, and urban problems of Metro Manila from the perspective of urban geography. Changes in the urban landscape are the results of capital accumulation. In particular, I will focus on the recent private-led development of the central business district (CBD), and analyze the impacts of IT-BPO industry on the change in the economic, physical and temporal landscape of the Metro Manila, Philippines.


Affiliated Researcher, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: Capital Appropriation of Slum Dwellers’ Food Consumption: Evidence from Metro-Manila

The paper unveils how food industrial capital is appropriating the slum populations’ food consumption via Corporate Packaged Food (CPF). Theoretically, this paper relates the concepts of ‘appropriation’ used by Marx (1976) and Goodman, (1987)’ category of appropriationism that explain the discontinuous process of appropriation and substitution of rural labor, nature and biological human consumption by industrial capital. The arguments supporting the thesis of appropriation of food consumption are based on ethnographic observation of 88 days in slums of Metro-Manila in three different periods between December 2015 and September 2016, and online communication with slum dwellers afterwards, particularly during COVID-19 pandemics crisis. Based on the premises of substitution and appropriation of nature and rural labor by industrial capital (Goodman,, 1987 and 1991), the process of appropriation of slum food consumption is completed via a permanent conquest of their market and meanings spheres. The usurpation of market sphere is realized via Affordable, Available and Adaptable—basics of slum marketing (Payaud, 2014). The presentation concludes with an example of an organized reaction from the bottom to re-appropriate consumption and build up social and ecological transformations.



Associate Professor, Collage of Nursing, Jeonbuk National University

Title: Perceptions of Sexual Infidelity of Cambodian Adolescents

Sexual infidelity plays a significant role in the high rate of spousal transmission of HIV in Cambodia. The sexual beliefs and attitudes of a person begin in childhood and are developed through multiple chains in early adolescence, affecting his or her future sexual behavior and future incidence of HIV. A deeper understanding of the perspectives of adolescents regarding infidelity is critical to effective HIV prevention efforts during adulthood. Using a descriptive qualitative approach, this study explored the perceptions of male adolescents regarding male infidelity. Through the thematic analysis method, themes and subcategories were developed from the responses of 48 male high school students from three provinces. Majority of the participants ( n = 33) were found to have liberal attitudes not only toward male infidelity but also toward the high possibility of their own future infidelity ( n = 14). Almost 45% ( n = 21) of the participants explained that men would fulfill their sexual desires outside, such as in karaoke, when their wives are unable to have sex with them. Participants believed it annoying for men to disclose their extramarital activities to their wives. The study concluded that the participants hold accepting perceptions about infidelity; they are part of the HIV problem and must be part of the solution. Educators and counselors need to deliver age-appropriate, scientifically correct, and culturally relevant messages about sexual health and HIV prevention to growing adolescents.
KEYWORDS: Cambodia; adolescents; infidelity; males


Assistant Professor, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University

Title: Care and Power in Mainland Southeast Asia

Thailand has proved to the world that universal health coverage is an achievable goal even in poorer parts of the world. At a time when half of the world’s population, including millions of those in wealthy nations, cannot access essential healthcare, Thailand, a politically-unstable, middle-income country, offers its citizens a full package of medical services that costs less than a dollar per treatment at the point of delivery. While Thailand’s sweeping health insurance reform is praised as a global health revolution, little is known about the substantive care provided under this scheme or how conditions of precarity compromise this emerging promise of security. In a vastly unequal society, what does it mean to give and receive universal care? In what ways is the state’s provision of healthcare absorbed into a broader assemblage of care for life? In this paper, I briefly present the main achievements and failures of Thai universal health coverage found in the local landscape of Chiang Mai and discuss their implications for the emerging politics of distribution.

KEYWORDS: universal health coverage, Thailand, biopolitics, distribution, care, life


Postdoctoral Fellow, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: Quality of Life Among People Who Use Drugs Living in Poor Urban Communities in the Philippines

Background: The quality of life (QOL) and mental health of people who use drugs (PWUD) in the Philippines, especially those living in poor urban communities, are highly concerning due to the situations surrounding drug use and the ongoing hard-line antidrug policy. This study aimed to investigate the QOL and mental health status of PWUD, compare them with community controls, and identify factors associated with QOL among Filipino PWUD.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with recruitment from a community-based rehabilitation programme and poor urban communities in Muntinlupa in 2018.
QOL was measured using the WHOQOL-BREF, while psychological distress and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were measured using the Kessler Psychological
Distress Scale (K-6) and the Primary Care PTSD Screen for DSM-5 (PC-PTSD-5), respectively. Multivariable linear regressions with each WHOQOL-BREF domain as a
dependent factor were conducted to establish three predictions: age- and gender-adjusted QOL means, factors associated with QOL among PWUD, and interaction of
lifetime drug use with each covariate.
Results: A total of 272 PWUD and 402 control participants were recruited. Most PWUD were current drug users (53%), with the most common primary drug used being
methamphetamine (70%). Among PWUD, the prevalence of moderate to severe psychological distress was found to be 70%, and probable PTSD was 28%, both rates of
which were higher than those among the controls. All four QOL domain scores (physical, psychological, social, and environmental) of the PWUD were lower than
those of the control. Multivariable regressions showed that psychological distress, current drug use, selling drugs, experiencing discrimination, and being never-married
were associated with lower QOL. Conversely, higher individual income, household resources, social activity participation, and service use for drug use problems were
associated with higher QOL among PWUD. Stratified analyses revealed that the QOL of PWUD was more sensitive to changes in individual income relative to the QOL of
control participants.
Conclusion: A comprehensive policy addressing psychological distress reduction, economic empowerment, and social inclusion—complementary to abstinence-oriented
programmes—may improve the well-being of Filipino PWUD.



Visiting Fellow, Seoul National University Asian Center

Title: Indonesian Highly Skilled Migration in South Korea

Scholarship on Indonesian migration has been burgeoning at rapid growth however the focus has been paid more attention to the unskilled contract labor migration. This paper investigates the migratory trajectory of Indonesian highly skilled migrants in South Korea. Drawing on qualitative data with eight participants from this under-researched group, this paper focuses on the different migratory pathways, its process and the determinant factors why the Korean companies/institutions recruit Indonesian high skilled. The findings suggest that graduated from Korean university increases the mobility and having cultural capital both as a foreigner and Southeast Asian identity is valued by the Korean firms. The analysis concludes by emphasizing new immigration possibilities directed exclusively towards the high skilled both from the sending and host countries.


Researcher, CSEAS, Kyoto University

Title: Tracking Agrarian Transformation Due to Horticultural Booms in the China-Myanmar Borderland

Crop booms in mainland Southeast Asia are particularly pronounced in the borderlands. This paper examines the transformation of agrarian livelihoods due to crop booms in China at the Chinese-Myanmar (Burma) border. A key finding was that local villagers rented out their land to outside investors to boom banana and watermelon investment. However, the villagers neither cultivated the same crops themselves, nor were they hired as wage laborers on banana/watermelon farms. Instead, they rapidly converted the traditional rice-farming system to rice-based, intensified multi-cropping systems featured by the ‘hidden’ crop booms through diversified land control changes for land reallocation, with the support of a transnational labor supply. In addition, this grounded study finds that local livelihoods were further diversified and differentiated. Overall, this study finds that crop booms provide local societies with opportunities to reallocate natural resources and adjust their livelihoods by ‘diversification without polarization.’ We argue that the dynamics of agrarian landscapes and livelihoods are co-produced as the result of transnationalism and borderland repositioning. We assert that we should consider the situated social processes and contextual factors beyond tenure security. This study contributes to the existing body of literature regarding the changes undergone by an agrarian society under crop booms in East and Southeast Asia.

KEYWORDS: crop boom; agrarian transformation; agrarian differentiation; transnationalism;


Assistant Professor, Sogang University Institute for East Asian Studies

Title: The Vietnam War in Korean Veterans’ Hearts and Minds

The Vietnam War was a watershed moment in the Cold War history of Korea. As South Korea dispatched more than 320,000 soldiers to the battlefield of Vietnam to be the second largest participant in the Vietnam War, Korean people and society were enormously affected by the war. The war itself left all people involved in it with deep scars on their lives and, even after four decades since the end of the war, many people are still struggling with the unsettled war memories. Writers of memoirs have attempted to reveal various aspects of the war and produce alternative narratives to/against the official historiography, which now enlighten us to understand multi-dimensions and complexities of the war. The author traces the Korean veterans’ perception on Vietnam and the Vietnam War through looking at their memoirs. As veterans’ memoirs tell the matters of the war to readers vividly, it might be a meaningful work to analyze them to understand the war comprehensively.

KEYWORDS: Vietnam, South Korea, The Vietnam War, memory, memoir


Assistant Professor, Sogang University Institute for East Asian Studies

Title: OCBC in Asian Wartime Institutions -Struggle for Survival of Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs Under the Changing Regimes?

For thirteen years from 1937 to 1949, many Chinese entrepreneurs in both mainland China and Southeast Asia experienced harsh circumstances due to the Anti-Japanese War, the Asia Pacific War and the Chinese civil War. In particular, overseas Chinese enterprises with their business networks spreading to Southeast Asia and South China had to find ways of adapting and surviving. They had to react rapidly towards frequent changes in the external environment, such as the British colonial rule, the Japanese threat, the Japanese occupation and the British re-occupation after the war. Their reaction and adaption are the focus of this paper. Owing to Parks M. Coble’s research on Chinese capitalists in Shanghai under the Japanese rule and Kuo Huei-Ying’s concept, called as ‘Bourgeois Nationalism’, on the overseas Chinese merchants, this paper deals with OCBC(Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporations), a major overseas Fujianese-funded and Singapore-based bank, as a case study. In 1932, OCBC incorporated other two overseas Chinese banks in Singapore, Ho Hong Bank and Huashang Bank, to survive the horrible economic crisis in Asia caused by the Great Depression and thus became the largest overseas Chinse-funded international bank. Until now (2020), OCBC has been an outstanding transnational bank having branches in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and South China.

What this paper concentrates on is OCBC’s commercial activities to make balance between empires and regimes, such as the Britain, Japan and the Nationalist Government, before and after the war exploded. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese military administration in Singapore, called ‘Syonan-to’, wanted to use the OCBC’s transnational network and its contribution on the Malay local society to stabilize occupied-territories in Southeast Asia. Based on several evidences, this paper finds that OCBC re-launched the commercial activities in Singapore, Malay Peninsula and Xiamen in China under the Japanese colonial rule, so called ‘East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere’.

On the other hand, the leaders of OCBC moved to India just after the outbreak of the War and pursued re-opening its business through the support of Britain and the US. With the end of the War in 1945, OCBC could re-open its business in Singapore with the allowance of the British colonial office and re-connect the transnational business network straddling from Southeast Asia to South China as usual. All these efforts of OCBC to survive and adapt to the changing circumstances during the wartime period help us to conceptualize the fundamental character of the overseas Chinese capitalists as ‘Entrepreneurial Nationalism’.