Joshua Kurlantzick

Joshua Kurlantzick is fellow for South-East Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Back to the Graft: Indonesia since Suharto

Joshua Kurlantzick, 3 March 2011

In the late 1990s it seemed quite possible that Indonesia was going to disintegrate, to become a South-East Asian version of Pakistan or Nigeria. The collapse of the long-lasting dictatorship of Suharto in 1998, together with the Asian financial crisis, battered Indonesia’s economy and released the cork that had kept contained religious, ethnic, class and other divisions in this very...

Playing the World for Fools: In Burma

Joshua Kurlantzick, 19 August 2010

The Rangoon headquarters of the National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition group and the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, isn’t very impressive. In front of the simple squat structure, a fading red sign tells visitors – and military intelligence, always lurking – where they are. Inside, men in their seventies and eighties, dressed in the traditional longyi...

Red v. Yellow: Thailand

Joshua Kurlantzick, 25 March 2010

In 2008, Thailand had more than 14 million visitors – neighbouring Cambodia had two million – and tourism was the country’s biggest source of foreign exchange. Sleepy islands like Koh Samui and Koh Chang are fishing for tourists where once they fished for sea bass; even the smallest Thai towns seem to have boutique hotels offering wi-fi and fancy coffee. Now, however, the number of tourists visiting Thailand is beginning to level out and even to drop, perhaps because they have noticed what many Western governments, focused on the situations in Pakistan, Iraq and North Korea, have ignored: Thailand, once known as one of the most stable democracies in Asia, is in political and economic crisis. The scale and speed of the meltdown have been staggering.

In Pol Pot Time: Cambodia

Joshua Kurlantzick, 6 August 2009

Cambodia, now 15 years removed from civil war, remains a shattered country. Poverty is on a par with many failed African states, there is widespread malnourishment, and at night packs of beggars, many maimed from the war, gather outside restaurants and bars to plead for small change. These things don’t happen in neighbouring Vietnam or Thailand.

Not that you’d ever know about the...

The riot started, last December, in the wake of a simple pay dispute at a small Chinese factory that manufactured cheap suitcases. Orders had been dropping, and the factory closed down without warning, leaving wages unpaid. The workers started to smash up the factory, and looked for managers to attack. The police arrived on the scene, and attempted to restrain the workers by locking them...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences