Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos/New Research on Laos. Yves Goudineau and Michel Lorrillard, eds.

Stuart-Fox, Martin (2010) Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos/New Research on Laos. Yves Goudineau and Michel Lorrillard, eds.. Journal of Lao Studies, 1 1: 105-118.

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Author Stuart-Fox, Martin
Title Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos/New Research on Laos. Yves Goudineau and Michel Lorrillard, eds.
Formatted title
Recherches nouvelles sur le Laos/New Research on Laos  Yves Goudineau and Michel Lorrillard, eds:
Journal name Journal of Lao Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2159-2152
Publication date 2010-01
Sub-type Review of book, film, TV, video, software, performance, music etc
Volume 1
Issue 1
Start page 105
End page 118
Total pages 14
Editor Gregory H. Green
Justin McDaniel
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.
Publisher Center for Lao Studies
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Formatted abstract
History and politics conspired over half a century to make social scientific research in Laos all but impossible. From the brief Japanese occupation and the end of the Second World War in 1945 until the early 1990s, war, hot and cold, revolution and political sensitivity curtailed research in archaeology and prehistory, anthropology and ethnography, sociology and cultural studies. Economics, linguistics and history fared a little better.

Following the collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union and introduction of the ‘new economic mechanism’ that opened Laos up to the world, research again became possible. But it has never been easy. Rural areas have been difficult to access, and the danger of unexploded ordnance (UXO) left over from the war has been ever present. Bureaucratic delays and political intransigence have been even more constricting. And yet scholars, to their great credit, have persevered.

By my count, the volume under review is the sixth collection of research papers to appear over the past decade.1 It is also the largest, at more than double the length of any previous publication, and the most ambitious in its coverage. The 27 articles range from archaeology and history to religion, linguistics and anthropology. They are divided into three sections covering the making of history, heritage issues, and social dynamics, to each of which there is an introduction by the editors in addition to their general introduction to the volume as a whole. Sixteen contributions are in English and eleven in French, including the three longest. The four introductions are also in French, so the division between languages is roughly half and half. Abstracts of all papers in both languages are provided.

So to conclude, New Research on Laos makes a substantial contribution to Lao studies. If some articles stand out (Lorrillard, Lockhardt, Goudineau, to name but three), the overall standard is remarkably high. Several excellent younger scholars showpiece their research, and we can expect to hear more from them. The quality of production is first rate, as one would expect of the EFEO. Putting such a volume together and editing it is a burdensome task, and the editors are to be congratulated.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Subtitle: "Études thématiques 18. Vientiane, Paris: École Française d’Extrême-Orient, 2008. pp. 678."

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Review of book, film, TV, video, software, performance, music etc
Collections: Non HERDC
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Created: Wed, 23 Mar 2011, 14:43:39 EST by Felicia Richards on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry