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The Quest for Identity Reviews

“…an important book for historians, political scientists, and Southeast Asia area specialists… wonderfully integrates history and political science… indispensable.” Journal of Asian Studies

“…nuanced, comprehensive and well reasoned. The Quest for Identity will serve for a while as the best work on Southeast Asian regionalism available. Pacific Affairs

“Acharya…has moved the analysis of Southeast Asian regionalism forward, and quite substantially so. In his comparative approach, he also challenges the “gap” between discipline-based approaches and the country-specific approach adopted by many area specialists…While dealing with great complexity, Acharya is able to present his ideas clearly and concisely, so that undergraduates will not be overwhelmed. This is also a book that should be read and debated.” Journal of Contemporary Asia

“…this is a thought-provoking book, loaded with valuable observations and insights. It also provides a needed corrective to orientalist perspectives and to the sometimes tunnel vision of international relations scholars. It is highly recommended, and should be added to the reading lists of every Southeast Asia international relations course.” Contemporary Southeast Asia

“The book succeeds on a number of levels. For one thing, it pays close attention to the notion of "region" rather than simply examining the various individual parts that constitute the area we now regard as Southeast Asia. In doing so it stakes out new ground not only in theoretical terms but practical ones as well. Moreover, because the development of a regional identity has been consumed with efforts to create a unity amongst its members, the charting of its successes, its failures, its hopes and prospects is a worthwhile task in itself. But the author is not simply content to lay out the history of these in analytical fashion but rather seeks to go beyond in assessing the way in which regionalism has affected how they see themselves in terms of regional identity.” International Affairs

“…an excellent and compelling historical overview of regional relations and regionalism in Southeast Asia. One of Acharya's stated objectives in writing the book is to address a lack of historical analysis among political scientists when it comes to examining Southeast Asia…This is an important book, which makes a valuable contribution towards the study of Southeast Asian regionalism by opening new areas for discussion and debate about this concept.” CANCAPS Bulletin

 “The book…is timely in its attempt to discern the conceptual meaning of Southeast Asia’s efforts to forge its own identity…The Quest for Identity will be a welcome source for newcomers to the field. With its easy-to-read and subtle presentation of major topics, readers should be tempted into a deeper exploration of the field of Southeast Asian international relations.” International Relations of the Asia-Pacific

“…numerous insights and important but neglected facts to be learned from this account…”  Australian Journal of International Affairs

“”extremely insightful, timely, and instructive.” Harvard Asia Quarterly

“a perceptive study…Southeast Asia is different from Europe, South Asia or the Middle East…If…Asean’s core countries managed heroically to imagine themselves in Benedict Anderson’s sense to be an entity, it was mainly because of the cold war and the conflict in Vietnam. In the process, they developed cohesion, confidence and a sense of purpose. Acharya also exposes the hype…” Times Higher Education Supplement.

"This book is a landmark in the process it describes. Southeast Asia's 'quest for identity'; its imagining of a common destiny, has found a worthy chronicler and analyst in Amitav Acharya." Anthony Reid, Director, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Manuscript Review for Oxford University Press

Anthony Reid, Preface

Kenneth Christie, International Affairs Review

Donald Crone, Pacific Affairs Review

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray Review

Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, Times Higher Education Supplement Review

Kevin Hewison, Journal of Contemporary Asia

Asad Latif, Sunday Times (Singapore) Review

Diane K. Mauzy, Contemporary Southeast Asia Review

Shaun Narine, CANCAPS Bulletin Review