Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Student Activism in Asia

Between Protest and Powerlessness

2012

Meredith L. Weiss and Edward Aspinall, Editors

Student Activism in Asia

How student-led protest movements have challenged governments across Asia since World War II

Student Activism in Asia provides a rich picture of an important tradition of political protest that has left indelible marks on Asia’s sociopolitical landscape. Taking an interdisciplinary, comparative approach, the contributors examine ten countries, focusing on those where student protests have been particularly fierce and consequential: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

The volume provides a welcomed introduction to Asian student movements and a comparative perspective on European and American student movements. The analytic frameworks alone should enable social science and Asian studies students to develop a comparative agenda, promising new research on student organizations, transnational ideas and practices, and cross-societal alliances that amplify student activism.

Pacific Affairs

Since World War II, students in East and Southeast Asia have led protest movements that toppled authoritarian regimes in countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand. Elsewhere in the region, student protests have shaken regimes until they were brutally suppressed—most famously in China’s Tiananmen Square and in Burma. But despite their significance, these movements have received only a fraction of the notice that has been given to American and European student protests of the 1960s and 1970s. The first book in decades to redress this neglect, Student Activism in Asia tells the story of student protest movements across Asia.

Taking an interdisciplinary, comparative approach, the contributors examine ten countries, focusing on those where student protests have been particularly fierce and consequential: China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Indonesia, Burma, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. They explore similarities and differences among student movements in these countries, paying special attention to the influence of four factors: higher education systems, students’ collective identities, students’ relationships with ruling regimes, and transnational flows of activist ideas and inspirations.

The authors include leading specialists on student activism in each of the countries investigated. Together, these experts provide a rich picture of an important tradition of political protest that has ebbed and flowed but has left indelible marks on Asia’s sociopolitical landscape.

Contributors: Patricio N. Abinales, U of Hawaii, Mānoa; Prajak Kongkirati, Thammasat U, Thailand; Win Min, Vahu Development Institute; Stephan Ortmann, City U of Hong Kong; Mi Park, Dalhousie U, Canada; Patricia G. Steinhoff, U of Hawaii, Mānoa; Mark R. Thompson, City U of Hong Kong; Teresa Wright, California State U, Long Beach.

Student Activism in Asia

Meredith L. Weiss is associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, State University of New York.

Edward Aspinall is professor of political science and head of the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University.

Student Activism in Asia

The volume provides a welcomed introduction to Asian student movements and a comparative perspective on European and American student movements. The analytic frameworks alone should enable social science and Asian studies students to develop a comparative agenda, promising new research on student organizations, transnational ideas and practices, and cross-societal alliances that amplify student activism.

Pacific Affairs

Student Activism in Asia

Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Understanding Student Activism in Asia
Meredith L. Weiss, Edward Aspinall, and Mark R. Thompson
1. China: Regime Shakers and Regime Supporters
Teresa Wright
2. Japan: Student Activism in an Emerging Democracy
Patricia G. Steinhoff
3. Hong Kong: Problems of Identity and Independence
Stephan Ortmann
4. Taiwan: Resisting Control of Campus and Polity
Teresa Wright
5. South Korea: Passion, Patriotism, and Student Radicalism
Mi Park
6. Indonesia: Moral Force Politics and the Struggle against Authoritarianism
Edward Aspinall
7. Burma: A Historic Force, Forcefully Met
Win Min
8. Malaysia: More Transformed than Transformational
Meredith L. Weiss
9. Thailand: The Cultural Politics of Student Resistance
Prajak Kongkirati
10. The Philippines: Students, Activists, and Communists in Movement Politics
Patricio N. Abinales
Conclusion: Trends and Patterns in Student Activism in Asia
Edward Aspinall and Meredith L. Weiss

Contributors
Index