Asia Society announced the winner of the first annual Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award. The jury selected Duncan McCargo’s Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand (Cornell University Press, 2008) as the first recipient of the award from among five finalists.
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Written by one of the world's leading scholars on Thailand today, Tearing Apart the Land examines the violent separatist insurgency that has raged in southern Thailand since 2004 and has resulted in more than three thousand deaths. Duncan McCargo is Professor of Southeast Asian Politics at the University of Leeds.
Jury co-chair Professor Carol Gluck "This vivid on-the-ground account of the Thai insurgency shows how national politics, rather than minority religion, drives the violence that is too often ascribed either to ethnicity or Islam. This is a lesson that applies not only to Southeast Asia but to many parts of the world."