Here's a short review I wrote for Amazon.com on a new book called Southeast Asia in Political Science. It's a useful corrective to the overly qualitative, country-specific nature of Southeast Asian Studies. In addition to my comments below, I also wish the book had included a chapter discussing the literature (or lack thereof) of law and courts in the region. Here it is:
This is a much needed corrective to the Southeast Asian Studies literature. As the authors argue, Southeast Asia has much to offer the political science discipline. The region's natural diversity makes it a great laboratory for testing theories. However, Southeast Asia has been markedly absent in the political science debates over "big question" theories. Much of the Southeast Asia literature stands accused of focusing on individual countries in-depth, but not engaging the theoretical debates or utilization of cross-country comparative studies.