top of page

Republicanism, Communism, Islam:

Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia

Sidel S21 cover.jpg
image 2.png

For nearly twenty years, I have been working on a book, titled Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia, which was published by Cornell University Press in May 2021. The abstract of the book provides a good sense of what to expect:


This book offers a reinterpretation of modern Southeast Asian history and of the Philippine, Indonesian, and Vietnamese revolutions, which have long been understood in terms of the rise of nationalist consciousness and struggles for new nation-states. The book recasts modern Southeast Asian history in terms of the region’s deepening integration into the world economy, the broadening of its connections with other regions of the world, and the emergence and evolution of new forms of modern cosmopolitanism consciousness, connectedness, and capacities for organization under such rubrics as republicanism, Communism, and Islam. Successive chapters trace the conditions and processes enabling and impelling revolutionary mobilization in the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam over the late 19th and early-mid 20th centuries, demonstrating the significance of transcontinental and transoceanic discursive and organizational networks on the one hand, and global economic trends and international conflicts on the other, for determining the forms, trajectories, outcomes, and aftermaths of these three major revolutions in Southeast Asia. Overall, the book thus offers a new –denationalized, transnationalized, and internationalized – analytical framework for understanding the modern history of the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Southeast Asia as a whole.   

Here is the link to the book on the Cornell University Press catalogue.

These short articles also provide previews of the book as a whole:


"What Killed the Promise of Muslim Communism?," The New York Times, 9 October 2017


“From Russia With Love?,” Indonesia 84 (October 2007), pp. 115-126. 


"Liberalism, Communism, Islam: Transnational Motors of 'Nationalist' Struggles in Southeast Asia," IIAS Newsletter, 32 (November 2003), p. 23. 


The New Yorker

The New Left Review

Podcast discussion

New Books Network


Here's a video from the book launch at Yale University in April 2021:

bottom of page