Coastal civilization and maritime diplomacy in premodern Southeast Asia

Endang Susilowati, Singgih Tri Sulistiyono, Yety Rochwulaningsih

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores maritime diplomacy as a relatively new field of research in the maritime history of Southeast Asia. It is argued that maritime diplomacy was an important element in the history of the region, whose natural character places the sea as a key factor in its historical evolution. The significant role of the sea in the past shaped coastal civilizations, which in turn preconditioned the development of maritime diplomatic links between political centres in Southeast Asia, leading to the integration of this region. During the premodern period, coastal civilizations were the means through which diplomatic negotiations between political powers were conducted in Southeast Asia. Although coloured by conflicts and competition, such diplomatic ties did not result in colonial relationships, as which occurred during the early modern era, when Europeans succeeded in gaining control of almost all of Southeast Asia’s political and economic centres.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)649-662
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of maritime history
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Coastal civilization
  • Maritime diplomacy
  • Maritime zone
  • Trading networks


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