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Southeast Asia is a region of eleven different states, each having many different peoples, languages, cultures and religions. However, general ideas, principles or rules which can encompass any one particular example or one country are nevertheless possible. This constant interplay and interaction between the specific and the general, between the local and the regional, between region and nation, between history and current times, is one of the characteristics of Southeast Asia. In taking this background into consideration it is important to distinguish between rule and exception, to trace down recurrent themes in history according to changing circumstances, and to seek possible ways of smoothing tensions or of solving conflicts. This book includes contributions covering about seven Southeast Asian countries: Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam on the mainland, as well as Singapore and Indonesia on the islands. The contributions deal with all three of the important categories of ethnic minorities: the tribal or indigenous populations, the nationalities who live as majority population in neighbouring states, and the so-called 'Foreign Asians'. Furthermore, general questions such as Nationalitätenpolitik and language politics (Sprachenpolitik) are also addressed.