Asian Socialists and the Forgotten Architects of Post-Colonial Freedom

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Between 1952 and 1956, Asian socialist intellectuals met via the Asian Socialist Conference (ASC), an event and a permanent organizational body based in Rangoon. The initial conference drafted a plan for the post-colonial state that catered for the welfare of all, while protecting individual freedoms, the press, and the existence of political parties. It upheld the United Nations charter in protecting human rights and the right of self-determination. As such, the ASC became an instigator of anti-colonial solidarity in campaigning for an end to colonial exploitation and thus a model for Bandung. Nationalism was to be a framework for the realization of democratic socialism, envisioned as a "third way" out of the Cold War. This article focuses on the role of Indonesian and Burmese socialist intellectuals in enacting this vision, and the ways in which they were sidelined, consumed, and eventually defeated by the fractious politics of the post-colonial era.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-88
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of World History
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2019

Structured keywords

  • Decolonisation


  • Decolonization
  • Socialism
  • Internationalism
  • Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • Indonesia
  • Burma
  • Post-colonial
  • Welfare State
  • Women


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