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Praetorians, Profiteers or Professionals? contributes to the ongoing renaissance in scholarship on Southeast Asia's armed forces and their political, social and economic roles. This renaissance comes in an era in which the states of the region, and the societies and economies that they govern, have grown complex beyond all recognition. Nevertheless, understanding those states' armies remains crucial.
Emphasizing the ideologies and economic activities of the militaries of two large Mainland Southeast Asian neighbours, this volume transcends clich's about coups, coercion, caudillos and kings. Its findings will challenge the thinking of even long-time observers of the region, not least through its comparative perspective and the fresh understanding of the roles and orientations of the armed forces of Myanmar and Thailand that that perspective suggests.