Creating Laos: The Making of a Lao Place between Indochina and Siam, 1860-1945

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The existence of Laos today is taken for granted. But the crystallization of a Lao national idea and ultimate independence for the country was a long and uncertain process. Taking its departure in a modernist approach to nations and national identities, this book examines the process through which Laos came into existence under French colonial rule through to the end of World War II. Rather than assuming that the Laos we see today was an historical given, the book looks at how Laos s position at the intersection of two conflicting spatial layouts of Thailand and Indochina made its national form a particularly contested process. This, however, is not an analysis of nation-building from the perspective of administrative and political structures. Rather, the book discusses how a specific idea about Laos and its culture was formed with reference to divergent discourses on Laos and the Lao. It is an analysis of the emergence of a notion of a specifically Lao cultural identity that served to buttress Laos as a separate Lao space , both in relation to Siam/Thailand and within French Indochina. In so doing, this book provides a new approach to the study of Laos s history in general and to the study of nationalism in Laos in particular.

RM145.00

Description

The existence of Laos today is taken for granted. But the crystallization of a Lao national idea and ultimate independence for the country was a long and uncertain process. Taking its departure in a modernist approach to nations and national identities, this book examines the process through which Laos came into existence under French colonial rule through to the end of World War II. Rather than assuming that the Laos we see today was an historical given, the book looks at how Laos s position at the intersection of two conflicting spatial layouts of Thailand and Indochina made its national form a particularly contested process. This, however, is not an analysis of nation-building from the perspective of administrative and political structures. Rather, the book discusses how a specific idea about Laos and its culture was formed with reference to divergent discourses on Laos and the Lao. It is an analysis of the emergence of a notion of a specifically Lao cultural identity that served to buttress Laos as a separate Lao space , both in relation to Siam/Thailand and within French Indochina. In so doing, this book provides a new approach to the study of Laos s history in general and to the study of nationalism in Laos in particular.

 

Publisher: NIAS Press

Paperback

2008

ISBN: 9788776940232