Demography of Race and Ethnicity in Southeast Asia

  • Amarjit KaurEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 4)


Southeast Asia as we know it today it is a product of the region’s colonial past. The borders of the present nation states largely coincide with imperial borders established in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The region was originally integrated into the world trade system during the period of European seaborne empires centered on major trading ports. These trading empires resulted in greater intra-Asian trade and facilitated new migratory and cultural connections between countries in Asia. This chapter is divided into two parts. Part 1 examines the integration of Southeast Asia into the global economy after the 1870s, the globalization of commodity production and labor immigration especially from China and India. Migration from the two countries, which was driven by push-pull factors and the opportunity differentials in Southeast Asia, resulted in demographic changes in the region. In the 1930s, falling world demand led to implementation of international commodity restriction schemes by the colonizers, the ending of open immigration policies and repatriation of surplus foreign workers. Part 2 investigates the second wave of globalization in the region, associated with the rise of the United States in the 1950s and the further integration of economic activities and labor markets. International labor migration (ILM) once again became an integral component of broader socio-economic transformative processes in Southeast Asia. The new geography of migration in the region was related to the rise of newly-industrializing economies, trade liberalization and the regulation of labor markets.


Migrant Worker Immigration Policy Destination Country Colonial Government East India Company 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNE Business SchoolUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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