A pioneering, provocative study of Malay political thought on the eve of colonial rule – based on both Malay and European source materials, and addressing issues that continue to be critical in Malaysia today. Focusing on both the Malay peninsula and North Sumatra, Kerajaan is innovative in approach – an historical investigation informed by methodologies developed in anthropology and literary criticism. The book argues that such close analyses of non-Western social thought are essential to achieve a genuinely global history, addressing the full variety of human perspectives and experience. In 2003 the US Association for Asian Studies selected Kerajaan as one of the 25 ‘works of major importance to historical studies’ and ‘most frequently cited in the literature’ in the field of Southeast Asian history.
‘… a classic in Malaysian studies because of its theoretical and empirical elaboration of the state and content of traditional kerajaan Melayu.… For anyone who wants to begin to make sense of contemporary Malay politics, especially the role of the Malay royalties and their socio-historical roots, Milner’s Kerajaan is a must read.’ – Shamsul A.B.
The ‘republication of Kerajaan … will provide the impetus for a radical expansion of the study of the history of ideas in Southeast Asia.’ –Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied
Milner ‘shows that it is possible to study history through language and literature in a way which does not separate thought from action.’ –Tony Day
About the Author
Anthony Milner is Visiting Professor at the University of Malaya and Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne. In 2014–2015 he was the Tun Hussein Onn Chair in International Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia. As Basham Chair of Asian History at the Australian National University, he has written widely on Malay and Malaysian history. His books include The Invention of Politics in Colonial Malaya (1995, 2002), The Malays (2008, 2012) and (as co-author) Transforming Malaysia (2014).