Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, Research Librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University
Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS) was re-launched in 2012 as an all-English journal; from 1963 to 2012 it was a bilingual quarterly. It is published 3 times a year and is indexed in the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences. Its stated goal is “to promote excellent, agenda-setting scholarship and provide a forum for dialogue and collaboration both within and beyond the region” of Southeast Asia, but it has another purpose, as well, as noted on the website: “An integral part of the journal’s mandate is to foster scholarship that is capable of bridging the continuing divide in area studies between the social sciences and humanities, on the one hand, and the natural sciences, on the other hand. To this end, the journal welcomes accessibly written articles that build on insights and cutting-edge rese7arch from the natural sciences.”
Some issues are arranged around a central theme; for instance, the theme of volume 3, number 2 is the “Politics of Technocracy in Southeast Asia,” with seven articles ranging from “Technocracy and Economic Decision-Making in Southeast Asia: An Overview” to “Technocracy and Thaksinocracy in Thailand: Reforms of the Public Sector and the Budget System under the Thaksin Government” and “Technocracy in Economic Policy-Making in Malaysia.” The issue also contains ten scholarly book reviews, of 1,000-1,200 words in length. The volume 3, number 1 issue is not arranged around a theme, and holds six articles ranging from, “Malaysia as the Archetypal Garden in the British Creative Imagination,” to “The Making of Politically Conscious Indonesian Teachers in Public Schools, 1930–42” and “How Universal is the Commodity Market? A Reflection on a Market Penetration and Local Responses in Timor-Leste.” There are ten scholarly book reviews in this issue, as well.
The journal also publishes shorter research reports presenting original findings from specific research projects and outcomes of research collaboration; one such report, “Farmers’ Perceptions of Imperata cylindrica Infestation in a Slash-and-Burn Cultivation Area of Northern Lao PDR” was published in the volume 2, number 3 issue. There’s also a Google search feature that makes locating material by particular authors or about various subjects fast and easy. Using it I was able to find several articles demonstrating that SEAS is fulfilling its mandate to bridge the gap between the humanities and social sciences and the natural sciences, articles such as “Agrometeorological Learning Increasing Farmers’ Knowledge in Coping with Climate Change and Unusual Risks” and “Singapore’s Prescription for Successful Control of Transnational Emerging Infectious Diseases.”
Southeast Asian Studies is an important core title for library collections in this field, and should be indexed in library discovery systems and recommended to Southeast Asian researchers in every kind of library.