My current work focuses on two related projects, both of which centre on the production of a book manuscript with associated articles around them.
The first project builds on my 2018 CUP book on rituals, symbols and ASEAN. In this project I am aiming to build a new explanatory framework that accounts for the coexistence of integrative and disintegrative impulses within any given ordered political system. I draw on work from both sociology and anthropology to explain how the performance of order in ceremonial contexts serves to present a vision of ordered relations that far outstrips the empirical reality whilst, at the same time, being permissive of the very acts that seem to undermine order.
The second project develops an innovative historical and conceptual account of story of human rights in Southeast Asian regionalism. Here, using a discursive institutionalist framework, I examine how indigenous ideas about appropriate social, economic and political relations between ruler and ruled shaped the early ASEAN and impacts on how that organisation engaged with global human rights norms subsequently. Alongside the manuscript itself I have prepared a series of empirical and theoretical articles that complement and extend this project.