- The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics
- Introduction: Eugenics and the Modern World
- The Darwinian Context: Evolution and Inheritance
- Anthropology, Colonialism, and Eugenics
- Race, Science, and Eugenics in the Twentieth Century
- Eugenics and the Science of Genetics
- Fertility Control: Eugenics, Neo-Malthusianism, and Feminism
- Disability, Psychiatry, and Eugenics
- Eugenics and the State: Policy-Making in Comparative Perspective
- Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism, and Eugenics
- Gender and Sexuality: A Global Tour and Compass
- Eugenics and genocide
- Eugenics in Britain: The View from the Metropole
- South Asia's Eugenic Past
- Eugenics in Australia and New Zealand: Laboratories of Racial Science
- Eugenics in China and Hong Kong: Nationalism and Colonialism, 1890s–1940s
- South Africa: Paradoxes in the Place of Race
- Eugenics in Colonial Kenya
- Eugenics in Postcolonial Southeast Asia
- German Eugenics and the Wider World: Beyond the Racial State
- Eugenics in France and the Colonies
- Eugenics in the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies
- The Scandinavian States: Reformed Eugenics Applied
- The First-Wave Eugenic Revolution in Southern Europe: Science <i>sans frontières</i>
- Eugenics in Eastern Europe, 1870s–1945
- Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union
- Eugenics in Japan: Sanguinous Repair
- Eugenics in Interwar Iran
- Eugenics and the Jews
- Eugenics Policy and Practice in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico
- The Path of Eugenics in Brazil: Dilemmas of Miscegenation
- Eugenics in the United States
- Eugenics in Canada: A Checkered History, 1850s–1990s
- Epilogue: where did eugenics go?
Abstract and Keywords
The rich vein of writing on race and racial thought in the region provides an essential point of entry to eugenics in Southeast Asia. This article focuses on the experience of postcolonial Malaysia and Singapore and suggests that traces of eugenic thought and practice have played a role in shaping strategies of state-directed development from the 1950s. The “science of racial improvement” exerts a powerful influence on the political elite of both countries, providing a rationale and a model for many attempts to understand, differentiate, and improve the population. This article focuses on close connections between race and racial aptitudes, and the politics of immigration control and colonial reservations. It further discusses the focus of eugenic policies in Southeast Asia on using state power to rebalance the plural society, and signification of racial improvement in the identification and exclusion of particular peoples.
Sunil S. Amrith is Lecturer in History at Birkbeck College, University of London. He researches the connections between South and Southeast Asia since the late eighteenth century, focusing currently on the history of migration and cultural circulation between south India, Malaya, and Singapore. He has previously written on the international exchange of ideas about health in Asia and is author of Decolonizing International Health (2006). He serves as one of the editors of History Workshop Journal.
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