Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia

Edited by Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery

Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia


  • Hardcover

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4271-9
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: June 2020
  • BIC Category: History, Modern History, Colonialism & imperialism, HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / Asian history, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


With original case studies of a more than a dozen countries, Monarchies and decolonisation in Asia offers new perspectives on how both European monarchs who reigned over Asian colonies and Asian royal houses adapted to decolonisation. As colonies became independent states (and European countries, and other colonial powers, lost their overseas empires), monarchies faced the challenges of decolonisation, republicanism and radicalism. These studies place dynasties - both European and 'native' - at the centre of debate about decolonisation and the form of government of new states, from the sovereigns of Britain, the Netherlands and Japan to the maharajas of India, the sultans of the East Indies and the 'white rajahs' of Sarawak. It provides new understanding of the history of decolonisation and of the history of modern monarchy.


'.the range of accounts offered here complicate the picture of decolonisation, demonstrating that, far from being sidelined by transitions to national independence, monarchies were consistently pivotal.' Professor Martin C. Thomas, University of Exeter

'In Monarchies and Decolonisation in Asia, the editors have done a sterling job in compiling a stimulating collection of studies that shine a much-needed light on a continent whose history is dominated by imperialism and monarchy, yet monarchy during the end of empire is often neglected in history texts. '
Royal Studies Journal


1 Monarchies, decolonisation and post-colonial Asia - Robert Aldrich and Cindy McCreery
2 All the king's men: regal ministers of eclipsed empires - Priya Naik
3 Decolonised rulers: rajas, maharajas and others in post-colonial times - Jim Masselos
4 The Himalayan kingdoms, British colonialism and indigenous monarchs after the end of empire - Robert Aldrich
5 Conflict and betrayal: negotiations at the end of British rule in the Shan States of Burma (Myanmar) - Susan Conway
6 Malaysia's multi-monarchy: surviving colonisation and decolonisation - Anthony Milner
7 Celebrating the 'world's most ideal state': Sarawak and the Brook dynasty's centenary of 1941 - Donna Brunero
8 Refashioning the monarchy in Brunei: Sultan Omar Ali and the quest for royal absolutism - Naimah S. Talib
9 Colonial monarchy and decolonisation in the French Empire: Bao Dai, Norodom Sihanouk and Mohammed V - Christopher Goscha
10 Loyalism and anti-communism in the making of the modern monarchy in post-colonial Laos - Ryan Wolfson-Ford
11 Indonesia: sultans and the state - Jean Gelman Taylor
12 Defending the sultanate's territory: Yogyakarta during the Indonesian decolonisation, 1942-50 - Bayu Dardias Kurniadi
13 The uses of monarchy in late-colonial Hong Kong, 1967-97 - Mark Hampton
14 From absolute monarch to 'symbol emperor': decolonisation and the Japanese emperor after 1945 - Elise K. Tipton
15 Dramatising Siamese independence: Thai post-colonial perspectives on kingship - Irene Stengs


Robert Aldrich is Professor of European History at the University of Sydney

Cindy McCreery is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Sydney

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