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Decolonisation, Modernisation and Nation-Building: Political Development Theory and the Appeal of Communism in Southeast Asia, 1945–1975

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2003

Mark T. Berger
International Studies in the School of Modern Language Studies at the University of New South Wales.


Modernisation theory and political development theory played a key role in the formalisation of the study of Southeast Asia, while the dramatic transitions from colonies to nation-states in the region and the deepening war in Vietnam were also pivotal to the rise and transformation of modernisation theory. This article provides a critical historical overview of the rise and elaboration of theories of political development and nation-building between 1945 and 1975.

2003 The National University of Singapore

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