Chapter 4: Not just ‘ugly America’? Understanding Southeast Asian perceptions of the United States
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This chapter examines contemporary Southeast Asian perceptions of the U.S. and its role in the region. In so doing, it provides insights into the major trends, policy attitudes and overall state of bilateral relations between the U.S. and Southeast Asian countries. Particular focus is given to the cases of Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Here, it is argued that Southeast Asian perceptions of the U.S. are often pragmatic, omnidirectional and ambivalent. The chapter also demonstrates how contemporary perspectives of the U.S. are not necessarily new, but can be traced back to historical images and role conceptions that had once circulated within the region.

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