Between positionality and nudging: A rising China and Chinese voluntary associations in Southeast Asia

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Abstract

Drawing upon cases studies from Southeast Asia, especially Singapore and Malaysia, this article addresses the following questions pertaining to the rise of China and its impact upon Chinese voluntary associations (CVAs) in the region over the past two decades. By employing theoretical insights of positionality, nudging and de-territorialisation and by focusing on various strategies pursued respectively by CVAs and the state, we conclude: (i) the growing economic ties between China and Southeast Asia serve as the platform through which the reconstruction of the CVAs take place; (ii) the reconstitution of the CVAs has been significantly driven by their own initiatives to compete in a new economy, in which knowledge of and connection with a rising China as an expanding market and a culture has advantages; (iii) the states in both China and Southeast Asia have played a part in the reconfiguration of the CVAs, motivated by their respective political and economic agendas; and (iv) it is imperative to go beyond the conventional approaches in understanding CVAs (internal structure and external connections) that have dominated much of the existing literature; and we argue that it is in the interactions and intersections between the internal dynamics and external political economy that a new type of CVAs has emerged.

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APA

Liu, H., & Ren, N. (2023). Between positionality and nudging: A rising China and Chinese voluntary associations in Southeast Asia. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 64(3), 304–316. https://doi.org/10.1111/apv.12387

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