Can Laos-with its small, scattered, ethnically diverse population, enchanting but rugged landscapes, and rich natural resources-emerge from the shadows of its more powerful neighbors? It has been carved up by colonial powers in the nineteenth century and dragged into devastating revolution and war in the twentieth. The authors provide a full, frank, and engaging survey of Laos today, assessing its history, prospects, and hopes. The book is essential reading for scholars, policymakers, and anyone interested in coming to grips with Laos today.
Vatthana Pholsena is assistant professor of Southeast Asian studies at the National University of Singapore. Ruth Banomyong is head of the Department of International Business, Logistics, and Transport at the Thammasat University Business School, Thailand.
List of maps, figures and tablesList of boxesAcknowledgementsIntroduction1. Geopolitics of a buffer state: From the pre-colonial period to the Cold War2. A regional positioning: Integration into ASEAN3. Bilateral realtions with Vietnam and Thailand4. The realities of a less developed state5. Laos - logistics platform for the Mekong region?6. The myth of isolation: Old and new cross-border phenomena7. Society and culture: Continuities and changes8. ConclusionChronologyBibliographyIndexAbout the Authors
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