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Malaysia's security practice in relation to conflicts in southern Thailand, Aceh and the Moro region: The ethnic dimension.

Abdul Jalil, Jafri (2008) Malaysia's security practice in relation to conflicts in southern Thailand, Aceh and the Moro region: The ethnic dimension. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Although many works exist on the role of ethnicity in the domestic securitisation processes in Malaysia, far less attention has been given to the significance ethnicity has in shaping the country's external security outlook. The central aim of this thesis is to analyse the relationship between national security and ethnic kinship. More specifically, it analyses whether ethnicity has had a major impact on Malaysia's external security practices in Southeast Asia. In geographic terms, the thesis asks how the Malaysian government has approached the ethnic conflicts in (1) southern Thailand, (2) Aceh, Indonesia, and (3) the Moro Region in the Philippines. In substantive terms, the thesis explores in particular to what extent the Malaysian government has been concerned about the societal security of the Malay's ethnic kin. Societal security includes the protection of physical survival, economic well-being and in some instances their political rights in their homeland. The argument of this thesis is that Malaysia's approach towards the ethnic conflicts in southern Thailand, Aceh and the Moro region is best understood with reference to the role that shared ethnicity has played for Malaysian policy-makers. This thesis concludes that the Malaysian government has not only promoted the Malays' ethnic interests within its own territorial boundaries, but also sought to protect the distinct identity of ethnic kin groups in cases where the latter have been caught up in conflict in Malaysia's immediate regional neighbourhood. However, contrary to arguments by many scholars - whereby involvement in ethnic conflicts by third parties being of the same ethnicity as one of the conflict parties tends to both make such conflicts more intense and create tensions that are likely to increase the probability of interstate conflict - Malaysia's "involvement" has neither led these conflicts to deteriorate nor fomented major interstate tensions, let alone war.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, South Asian Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2965

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