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Conflicts in Southeast Asia

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  1. Introduction
  2. The Mosaic of identities
    1. Punjabi
    2. The Sindhis
    3. Mohajirs
    4. Pathan and Baluchi minorities
    5. Kashmiris
  3. The political construction of national identity
    1. The notion of national identity
    2. Pakistani Muslim identity or identities ?
    3. Language:Unifying or divisive ?
    4. Foreign policy and national identity
  4. Conclusion

Before one begins to treat the subject, it should define more clearly the region known as Southeast Asia. If that name is known to all, places it designates are not. Indeed, its boundaries are fuzzy and evolve over time. The South-East Asia can also be reconciled with the countries forming the regional organization of the same name, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN in French). It is also an area of over four million square kilometers and about 600 million people including 114 million for the single island of Java. This shows that it is not clear how to exactly determine its borders. One may even wonder if these countries form a single region, both divisions, different cultures, languages, traditions are important in different countries. A remark can be made, however: the South-East Asia "is anything but a quiet area" in the words of Hugh Tertrais.

That's what makes it exciting to study. This region was the heart of several major conflicts since the Second World War, and the Vietnam War, some of its constituent countries, having been considered part of the Third World, have experienced periods of very high growth in especially the four tigers Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. This region is also the place that houses a number of cultures and religions and is unparalleled as a true "clash of civilizations" as Huntington observes. But who says shock is also called conflict? During the past five decades, Southeast Asia has been the scene of major conflicts of all kinds. Interstate conflicts, religious conflicts and also guerrilla or mafia gang war. How can one explain the presence of these conflicts? Have they changed shape in recent years? Can one speak of a secure and stable region?

To answer these questions, this document will first show that it is a region of incredible diversity, a diversity that may explain some of the conflicts and tensions that are classified into two categories: the so-called traditional conflicts and conflicts caused from new and recent events. Finally, one will see if organizations and / or international cooperation may be a way to resolve these conflicts and to calm the region.

Tags: South East Asia; conflicts in the region; reason for these conflicts; a secure and stable region; ASEAN a region of incredible diversity; categories of conflicts;

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