First published in 1964, The Economic Development of South-East Asia: Studies in economic history and political economy contains eight papers originally written for a study group at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. The papers, edited by Professor C. D. Cowan, are written against a background of economic underdevelopment in large parts of Asia.

Economic problems increasingly plagued the governments of Asia after the Second World War, and while Western governments were willing to help foster economic development, relations with Asian governments were somewhat hindered by the heritage of their colonial past. Problems also related to the growth of traditional trading ports and export crops, and to the importation of colonial regimes, western funds and skills in the nineteenth century. Such developments come under the loosely generalised concept of imperialism, with its strongly emotional overtones, whose use impedes the objective assessment and analysis of facts. While we understand a good deal about conditions of economic growth in the West, much of what has fostered or retarded growth in other parts of the world remains less clear.

1. The British Eastern Exchange Banks: An Outline of the Main Factors Affecting their Business up to 1914 J Leighton Boyce  2. British Shipping Companies and East and South-East Asia 1860-1939 Francis E. Hyde  3. Some Comments on Population Growth in South-East Asia with Special Reference to the Period since 1830 Charles A. Fisher  4. Indonesian Export and Production from the Decline of the Culture System to the First World War J. A. M. Caldwell  5. Thailand’s Rice Trade and the Allocation of Resources James C. Ingram  6. Western Enterprise and the Development of the Malayan Tin Industry to 1914 Wong Lin Ken  7. Chinese Estate Workers’ Strikes in Malaya in March 1937 J. Norman Parker  8. Immigration and Permanent Settlement of Chinese and Indians in Malaya: and the Future Growth of the Malay and Chinese Communities T. E. Smith