This rich collection of essays explores the dramatic political, economic, and social transformations in Southeast Asia since 1945. Academics and practitioners trace three themes - transformations within Southeast Asian countries, the actors and processes that contributed to these changes, and new dynamics in foreign relations. These diachronic essays examine how engagement among Southeast Asians, and between regional and outside actors have affected patterns of democracy, development, and international relations. By looking back to understand the contemporary political and economic landscape of Southeast Asia, these essays shed light on how modern Southeast Asia has evolved. Special focus centres on U.S. engagement with the region, by both governmental and non-governmental organizations. Through its macrohistorical synthesis of changes in the region over time, this book offers an accessible lens to understand contemporary Southeast Asia.