Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Emergency Powers in Asia
Exploring the Limits of Legality

$94.99 (C)

Victor V. Ramraj, Arun K. Thiruvengadam, Albert H. Y. Chen, Anil Kalhan, Vasuki Nesiah, Kevin Y. L. Tan, Maitrii Aung-Thwin, Michelle Ann Miller, R. Michael Feener, Simon Chesterman, Nadirsyah Hosen, Andrew Harding, Mark Fenwick, Jacques deLisle, H. P. Lee, Raul Pangalangan, Clark B. Lombardi
View all contributors
  • Date Published: January 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521768900

$ 94.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • What is the relevance of contemporary debates over emergency powers for countries situated in Asia? What role does, and should, the constitution play in constraining these powers? The essays in this collection address these issues, drawing on emergency situations in over 20 countries in Asia as a ready-made laboratory for exploring the relationship between emergency powers and constitutionalism. This volume therefore rests squarely at the intersection of two debates – a debate over the ability of law to constrain the invocation and use of emergency powers by the executive in times of crisis, and a debate over the nature and viability of constitutionalism in Asia. At this intersection are fundamental questions about constitutionalism and the nature of the modern state, questions that invite legal, political, sociological and historical analysis.

    • Reconsiders the ideal of constitutionalism through the lens of emergency powers, focusing attention on a crucial but neglected dimension of constitutional scholarship
    • Offers comparative, theoretical, social and historical perspectives on the challenges posed by emergency powers, allowing readers to appreciate the complexity of the issues through interdisciplinary analysis
    • Engages the Western legal and political discourses on emergency powers and assesses their relevance to Asia, bringing into dialogue scholarly conversations and approaches that previously have been isolated
    • Provides a rich narrative account and analysis of the experiences of emergency powers in Asia, enabling readers to understand the particular experiences of emergency and to see them in a broader pan-Asian and international perspective
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "While emergency powers are most frequently resorted to in Asia, there is little systematic or comprehensive study of this phenomenon. Emergency powers can be a threat to liberal constitutionalism; it may also be a measure to restore stability and constitutional order. It may be an instrument of suppression, and yet in some circumstances, it may also serve to galvanize public support against authoritarian regimes. The role of emergency powers in liberal constitutional democracies, through which emergency powers are conventionally analyzed, is very different from that in developing countries, particularly in the transition from colonial rule to independence, or from political turbulence to relative tranquility. Can emergency powers be contained by the constitution, and more fundamentally, can constitutionalism be sustained and evolved alongside real, exaggerated or perceived emergency situations with a relatively fragile judiciary in many Asian states? This book provides a fresh perspective in understanding emergency powers by putting them squarely in the post-colonial and post-conflict social, legal, political and comparative context in Asia, thereby enabling an intellectual and theoretical engagement of the contemporary debates on this complex yet fascinating subject."

    - Johannes Chan S. C., University of Hong Kong

    "Drawing on impressive presentations of factual material and offering provocative theoretical insights, the essays here make an important contribution to our understanding of the constitutional regulation of emergency powers, one of the central questions in constitutional law and theory in today's world."

    - Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

    "The role of emergency provisions in the constitutional order has generated a good deal of attention recently, but too often, the analysis is either abstract or focused on a single jurisdiction. Ramraj and Thiruvengadam have produced a wonderful comparative collection on the use and misuse of emergency powers in Asia. With its wide range of political regimes, constitutional traditions, and security challenges, Asia offers a fruitful environment to examine how policy makers and judges have grappled with emergencies, both real and imagined. Theoretically informed, empirically rich and conceptually nuanced, this volume is a major contribution to the ongoing debates on constitutionalism and security, and should be read throughout the region and beyond."

    - Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2010
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521768900
    • length: 530 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 158 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.96kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: emergency powers and constitutionalism in Asia Victor V. Ramraj and Arun K. Thiruvengadam
    Part I. Perspectives from Legal and Political Theory:
    2. The emergency powers paradox Victor V. Ramraj
    3. Emergency powers, constitutionalism and legal transplants: the East Asian experience Albert H. Y. Chen
    4. Constitution and 'extraconstitution': colonial emergency regimes in postcolonial India and Pakistan Anil Kalhan
    5. The princely imposter: stories of law and pathology in the exercise of emergency powers Vasuki Nesiah
    Part II. Postcolonial and Post-Conflict Transitions:
    6. From Myanmar to Manila: a brief study of emergency powers in Southeast Asia Kevin Y. L. Tan
    7. Discourses of emergency in colonial and post-colonial Burma Maitrii Aung-Thwin
    8. Emergency and Islamic law in Aceh Michelle Ann Miller and R. Michael Feener
    9. UNaccountable? The United Nations, emergency powers and the rule of law in Asia Simon Chesterman
    Part III. Emergencies, Executive Power and Constitutional Order:
    10. Emergency powers and the rule of law in Indonesia Nadirsyah Hosen
    11. Emergency powers with a moustache: special powers, military rule and evolving constitutionalism in Thailand Andrew Harding
    12. Emergency powers and the limits of constitutional rule in Japan Mark Fenwick
    13. States of exception in an exceptional state: emergency powers and law in China Jacques deLisle
    Part IV. The Role of the Courts:
    14. Constitutionalised emergency powers: a plague on constitutionalism? H. P. Lee
    15. Political emergencies in the Philippines: changing labels and the unchanging need for legitimacy Raul Pangalangan
    16. Islamism as a response to emergency rule in Pakistan: the surprising proposal of Justice A. R. Cornelius Clark B. Lombardi
    17. Asian judiciaries and emergency powers: reasons for optimism? Arun K. Thiruvengadam.

  • Editors

    Victor V. Ramraj, National University of Singapore
    Victor V. Ramraj is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore, where he is also Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs.

    Arun K. Thiruvengadam, National University of Singapore
    Arun K. Thiruvengadam is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore.


    Victor V. Ramraj, Arun K. Thiruvengadam, Albert H. Y. Chen, Anil Kalhan, Vasuki Nesiah, Kevin Y. L. Tan, Maitrii Aung-Thwin, Michelle Ann Miller, R. Michael Feener, Simon Chesterman, Nadirsyah Hosen, Andrew Harding, Mark Fenwick, Jacques deLisle, H. P. Lee, Raul Pangalangan, Clark B. Lombardi

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.