Expertise, Embodiment, and the Dilemmas of Activist Research in Southeast Asia

The set of short papers that follows this essay reflect on the ways in which field-based research on contemporary social, economic, and environmental issues is conducted at the interface of academic and activist spheres of practice in Southeast Asia. While many academics, including several featured in this collection, see their research as activist in itself, it is also the case that institutional frameworks in different contexts in Southeast Asia construct the two categories as separate sets of practices. Our goal, then, is to explore the ways in which these practices come together.