Many people and institutions have made possible the completion of this book, which is based on my doctoral dissertation completed in 2001 at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. I am deeply grateful to my dissertation supervisor, Richard Higgott for his encouragement, support and guidance throughout the PhD. I especially appreciate his understanding and patience in allowing me the intellectual space to explore varied lines of research, and for wisely guiding me back whenever I strayed too far. To him I owe my most sincere thanks.
My research also benefited enormously from my affiliation as ASEM/ Chevening Fellow at the Warwick/ESRC Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR). The Centre offered a stimulating intellectual environment in which to work, and a friendly and lively atmosphere as well that made writing the dissertation that much more enjoyable. Additionally, I wish to express my gratitude to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which, through its Chevening Award provided full funding for my three years of PhD research. I would also like to record my appreciation to the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) in Malaysia for granting me leave from work to read for the PhD. The final draft of this book was completed at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (IDSS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where I am currently based. For his support and encouragement to complete the book manuscript, I would like to thank Barry Desker, Director of IDSS.
A number of research institutes in Southeast Asia also greatly facilitated my field research in the region. ISIS Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta kindly hosted my research visits to Malaysia and Indonesia respectively during July-September 2000. My thanks, too, to the Library of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore for its welcome and the help extended to me. I am also indebted to Mushahid Ali, then with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore and currently my colleague at IDSS, for his help in securing appointments with Singapore government officials.