Cornell University

The Third Indochina War and the Making of Present-Day Southeast Asia

Thursday, November 14, 2019 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Part of the Ronald and Janette Gatty series

Hoang Minh Vu, PhD Candidate, Department of History, Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program

My dissertation draws upon research in Vietnam’s National 
Archives Center III, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives, the 
National Library, and the Military Library; the Cambodian National 
Archives; the British National Archives; the American National 
Archives Center II; the Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Clinton Presidential 
Libraries; the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives; Cornell 
University's extensive collections on East and Southeast Asian texts, 
particularly its Chinese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian collections; the 
Australian National Archives; as well as numerous interviews. I argue 
that in the aftermath of the Second Indochina War (Vietnam War) in 
1975, Vietnam’s efforts to integrate itself into the economic fabric 
of the non-Communist global market were met with enthusiasm by the 
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and rekindled hopes of 
regional integration for the first time since the arrival of the Cold 
War in the region in the 1950s. But this nascent regionalism was 
interrupted by the outbreak of the Third Indochina War following a 
series of misunderstandings and miscalculations between Vietnam, 
China, and the Khmer Rouge leadership, which led to a renewed 
political rupture between ASEAN and the Indochinese states. Yet, the 
process of resolving the Cambodian crisis itself united the ASEAN 
countries and solidified the norms and institutions that would later 
allow for the revival of a more robust regional integration after the 
war. My narrative highlights the role of epistemic communities in 
helping the Indochinese states redefine their national interests and 
policies in a period of crisis, resulting in ASEAN’s rapid post-Cold 
War enlargement and transformation into the indispensable host of the most important Asia-Pacific security and economic fora. In situating 
my work at the intersection between the International Relations debate on the nature and driving force of regionalism and the historical 
debates surrounding the Cambodian Genocide and the Third Indochina War, I hope my research will attract a wide audience of scholars, 
practitioners, and the interested public. 

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Event Type

Lecture

Departments

Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Southeast Asia Program, Cornell China Center, History

Contact E-Mail

seap@cornell.edu

Contact Name

James Nagy

Contact Phone

6072552378

Speaker

Hoang Minh Vu

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University, Southeast Asia Program

Open To

Public

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