Social commentators tend to attribute great importance to elected officials in the United States. However, beneath the turbulent and highly rhetorical politics, private corporations and public institutions in the US have pursued fairly consistent policy-level linkages with Asian-Pacific nations that seek to preserve American geostrategic dominance in this highly important area. Institutional power thus limits the impact of political change.

Speaking on the issue is Mesrob Vartavarian, a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program. He studied history at UCLA (BA/MA) and Cambridge (PhD) and began his career as a scholar of early colonial South Asia but has since shifted his research focus to modern Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the Philippines. Mesronb is currently working on a monograph-length study of the Philippine military after Marcos.


Mesrob is interviewed by Prach Panchakunathorn, a PhD candidate at the Department of Philosophy, Stanford University, on behalf of FORSEA.

 

Mesrob Vartavarian

Posted by Mesrob Vartavarian

Dr. Mesrob Vartavarian is a Visiting Fellow at Cornell University’s Southeast Asia Program. He studied history at UCLA (BA/MA) and Cambridge (PhD) and began his career as a scholar of early colonial South Asia but has since shifted his research focus to modern Southeast Asia with an emphasis on the Philippines. His interests include colonial state formation, plunder politics, borderland insurgencies by ethnic minorities, postcolonial praetorian regimes, and Cold War-era conflicts across insular and mainland states. His publications have appeared in Modern Asian Studies, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, South East Asia Research, Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia, and the IIAS Newsletter. Dr. Vartavarian is currently working on a monograph-length study of the Philippine military after Marcos.