Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/25825
Title: The Diplomatic Worldviews of Siam and Vietnam in the Pre-colonial Period (1780s-1850s)
Authors: MORRAGOTWONG PHUMPLAB
Keywords: diplomatic worldviews, inter-state relations, Siamese and Vietnamese history, pre-colonial period, tributary expansion
Issue Date: 19-Aug-2010
Source: MORRAGOTWONG PHUMPLAB (2010-08-19). The Diplomatic Worldviews of Siam and Vietnam in the Pre-colonial Period (1780s-1850s). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The diplomatic relations between Siam and Vietnam shifted from friendship to antagonism through the course of the late eighteenth century to the early nineteenth century. The relations between the Bangkok and Hu? courts not only depended on their direct relations but also on the contestation of overlordship over their tributary peripherals, the Cambodian and the Lao kingdoms. Siam and Vietnam shared similar diplomatic worldviews. The differences in their cultural backgrounds, worldviews and forms of practice stimulated their foreign affairs and interactions. This research is a political and cultural history focusing on the perceptions of bilateral relations between the courts of Siam and Vietnam from the 1780s to the 1850s. It proposes that their diplomatic relations with other countries largely followed a culturally hierarchical pattern - between a superior and an inferior. Both courts defined themselves as a central and powerful state dominating other small surrounding states. The personal attitude and relations between the Siamese and the Vietnamese rulers also led to different approaches and policies with regards to their peripheries. Furthermore, cultural differences between both courts were also one of the main elements that influenced their diplomatic relationship. The court rituals, protocols and ceremonies were used as an instrument for negotiation. They signified their pomp and prestige as the most powerful state in the region. Their diplomatic relationship was the only exception to this conceptualization of their geopolitical centrality, as Siam and Vietnam both regarded and approached each other as equal great kingdoms. However, both states struggled with this special type of status because they had never treated any other foreign states as their equal. Their bilateral ties became troubled gradually not because their respective
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/25825
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