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David Brown provides discussions of ethnic politics in Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia that are organised so as to provide a coherent interpretation of the nature of ethnic consciouness and the causes of ethnic tensions.
This ethnic consciousness is defined in terms of a psychological and political ideology that is, predominantly, influenced by the attitude and policy of the state. This idea is developed through an examination of the influence that theoretical ideas, such as neo-patrimonialism, corporatism, ethnocracy, internal colonialism and class, have had upon the various regimes in the countries above. The book explores how the influence of these different theories and conceptualisations of the state gave resulted in a variety of manifestations of political ethnicity.