Year published :2006

Pages :215 pp.

Size :14x21.5 cm.

ISBN: 9789749480502

Laos: From Buffer State to Crossroads?

by Mekong Press

Edited by Vatthana Pholsena and Ruth Banomyong

Can Laos, with its small, scattered, ethnically diverse population, enchanting but rugged landscapes, and rich natural resources emerge from the shadows of its more powerful neighbours after being carved up by colonial powers in the nineteenth century and dragged into devastating revolution and war in the twentieth? A full, frank and engaging survey of Laos today that assesses its history, prospects and hopes.

This book is essential reading for scholars, policymakers and anyone interested in coming to grips with Laos today.


  1. Geopolitics of a buffer state
  2. A regional positioning: Integration into ASEAN
  3. Bilateral relations with Vietnam and Thailand
  4. The realities of an underdeveloped state
  5. Laos, pivot of the Mekong region?
  6. The myth of isolation: Old and new cross-border phenomena
  7. Society and culture: Continuities and changes
  • Chronology
  • Bibliography
  • Index

About the Editors

Vatthana Pholsena is the author of Postwar Laos: The Politics of Culture, History and Identity (Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies & Silkworm Books, 2005). She is a research fellow at the Institut d'Asie Orientale in Lyon, France.

Ruth Banomyong is Head, Dept. of International Business, Logistics & Transport, Thammasat University Business School, Thailand.

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