This article historicizes the transnational counterinsurgency that the U.S.-Philippine governments have conducted against diasporic Filipino/a/x activists. In examining the period of the Cold War to the early 2020s, it makes a case for recognizing existing continuities of counterinsurgency tactics targeted at Filipinos in the United States, such as extradition, deportation, surveillance, and assassination. The Philippine state’s resort to red-baiting during the Cold War and contemporary “red-tagging” has aimed at the elimination of communism and terrorism at home and beyond its national borders, at the expense of human rights. This long history of counterinsurgency also highlights the acceleration and formalization of diasporic Filipino organizations dedicated to promoting democracy in the Philippines during the period of martial law under President Ferdinand E. Marcos, showing how diasporic Filipinos organized opposition not only to dictatorship, but also U.S. support for violent regimes. The transnational opposition against Marcos and then President Rodrigo R. Duterte has characterized diasporic Filipinos as a primary component of democratic movements in both the United States and the Philippines who have linked domestic racial oppression to U.S. imperialism and state fascism in the Philippines.
This essay examines the Alpha Gallery, an independent artists’ cooperative that Malaysians and Singaporeans established, which staged art shows during the 1970s to spark an artistic renaissance in Southeast Asia. The cooperative’s transnational vision involved showcasing Balinese folk art as a primitive and, therefore, intrinsically Southeast Asian aesthetic, while asserting that it shared cultural connections with the Bengali Renaissance of the early 20th Century. Alpha’s leaders believed these actions might awaken indigenous artistic traditions across Southeast Asia. Their project underscores the lasting cultural impact of colonialism on Southeast Asia and the contested character of the region. Alpha’s condescending view of Balinese folk art echoed the paternalism of Euro-American colonial discourses about civilizing indigenous peoples that persisted because its key members received much of their education or training in Britain and the United States, a by-product of their countries’ pro-U.S. trajectory during the Vietnam War. Equally, Alpha’s transnationalism ran counter to Southeast Asian political elites’ fixation with pressing art toward nation-building. Indeed, the coalescing of nation-states does not define the region’s history during and after the Vietnam War. Rather, non-state actors like Alpha’s members, in imagining and pursuing their versions of Southeast Asia, contributed to the persistent contingency of the region.
The Third Indochina War called forth dramatic changes in the international relations of Southeast Asia. Foremost among these changes was a shift in the geopolitical orientation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (asean). The organization’s founders established asean in 1967 to contain Chinese influence in Southeast Asia. But in the wake of the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in late 1978, asean forged a tacit alliance with the People’s Republic of China to pursue a campaign of rollback against Vietnam. This article argues that asean’s volte-face and China’s reentry into networks of regional diplomacy depended upon a shift in Indonesian threat perceptions. As political Islam displaced Chinese communism as the key threat fixating Indonesian policy, the Suharto regime abandoned its longstanding attempts to integrate Vietnam into the architecture of regional order and instead accommodated itself to a Thai-led effort to enlist China as a counterweight against Vietnam. The reorientation of Indonesian diplomacy reveals the dynamics of a phenomenon that anthropologist Heonik Kwon has called the “decomposition” of the Cold War – the geographically and temporally uneven erosion of the Cold War as a social reality and the gradual elaboration of a post-Cold War era.
Expo ’67 in Montreal and Expo ’74 in Spokane took strikingly different stances regarding human-nature relations. The title of the first was “Man and His World.” Here, the Soviet pavilion exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam to showcase its conquest of nature. The exploitation of “idle” Siberian resources, like hydro-energy, was bound to fulfill the promise to “catch and overtake” the United States. Yet, the global environmental awakening of the 1960s added a “green race” to existing Cold War races and propelled environmental cooperation. Spokane’s Expo became the first environmental world's fair with the motto “Progress without Pollution.” Now, the ussr exhibited the Krasnoyarsk Dam as an inseparable part of the landscape and the new “green” socialist settlements to demonstrate the industry’s harmony with nature. An envoy for Soviet environmentalism, the display was responsive both to raising global concerns and to the detrimental environmental consequences of industrialization on the ground in Siberia.
Analyzing several documentary films and other sources through the lens of gender and feminist theory, this article explores the role of hunting and nature in Soviet diplomatic relationships. The article views diplomacy as a masculine space in which diplomatic negotiations relied on successful displays of toughness and the exhibition of prowess and agility. These skills were best demonstrated not in the official corridors of power but in settings imbued with symbolic meanings associated with masculinity, such as nature. The latter often served as a homosocial space where power was displayed and reconstituted through ritualistic performances of heroic masculinity. Such rituals as hunting sought to accomplish several goals. They promoted the male bonding that formed the basis of a preferred personal style of diplomacy and allowed Soviet apparatchiks to display marksmanship skills and a level of physical prowess that would present them to their foreign counterparts as potent leaders and desired allies. More importantly, as with other performative rituals of masculinity, Soviet diplomatic hunts produced and reproduced masculinity – and with it, power – and served strategically to assert or challenge international hierarchies, shape new and reaffirm faltering alliances, and demonstrate the agility and potency of the Soviet system to visiting state leaders.