History and its Lessons for Maritime Southeast Asia


    Mr Philip Bowring
    International Herald Tribune

    About the speaker

    Philip Bowring is a journalist based in Asia since 1973 including twenty years with the Far Eastern Economic Review, latterly as Editor and otherwise as a correspondent for the Financial Times and Asian Wall Street Journal, a columnist for the International Herald Tribune and contributor to The Guardian, South China Morning Post, and a founder of website www.asiasentinel.com. Prior to 1973 he was with Finance Week in Australia and the Investors Chronicle in London. He has an MA in History from Cambridge University.


    This talk, draws on Philip Bowring’s recently launched book,’ Empire of the Winds: The Global Role of Asia’s Great Archipelago’, is a “longue duree” history of the Austronesian peoples of the islands and coasts of “maritime Southeast Asia”, and shows what the past may imply for the future. It illustrates the common identity of a region divided by the seas but united by a common heritage of language, of sailing and of trading. It shows the constant impact of trade on the evolution of the region over the past two millennia. It looks to a future where common identity transcends political and religious divides. It is the work of a journalist but is based on vast range of contemporary and modern specialist sources. The talk would explain the themes of the book, why I thought such a book, focused mostly on the region before 1850, was needed. And it will look at possible future directions of trade and power drawn from experience of the past.

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