Southeast Asia to the test of Covid-19. An interdisciplinary perspective

Couverture Asie du Sud-Est 2021Christine CABASSET, Jérémy JAMMES, Serge MORAND

In South-East Asia, the low lethality record is surprising and questioning, while the geographical proximity to China, the intensity of the links and means of transport, and the porous land borders between the two areas raised fears of disaster in the region. However, the on-going repercussions of the pandemic are considerable in all fields of human activity: medical, social, religious, technological, economic, political, geopolitical, etc. The perceived consonances are also, in many aspects, specific to the region. The interdisciplinary approach adopted for this chapter highlights a number of questions, such as the origin of the pandemic, the resistance of the region to the virus, the transformative power of the sanitary crisis, including on religious practices, and the eventual transnationalisation of its social and political impacts. Finally, we highlight the “biopolitical” logics that open stimulating comparisons within but also beyond the Southeast Asian framework.

Keywords: Covid-19, Southeast Asia and ASEAN, Health systems, Politics, Socio-Economical impacts, Religious practices, Biopolitics