This new study by Soren Ivarsson is an important contribution to the growing body of academic literature on Laos. Challenging conventional nationalist histories that seek to trace the origins of the nation back into the mists of time, Ivarsson argues that the origins of Laos can be found in the colonial contact zone between Thailand and French Indochina. Grant Evans provides this endorsement:

Ivarsson’s book is a path breaking study of Lao nationalism and the emergence of the modern idea of Laos. This subtle cultural and political history is informed not only by the author’s understanding of Laos, but also by his deep knowledge of Thailand, the foil for Lao nationalism. It will inspire others to launch similar detailed investigations into the country’s past.

Creating Laos is published by NIAS Press.

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