Journal of
Law and Conflict Resolution

  • Abbreviation: J. Law Conflict. Resolut
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9804
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLCR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 101

Full Length Research Paper

Some lessons from the White Rajahs of Sarawak: Identifying and strengthening local capacities for peace in the deep South of Thailand

Otto F. von Feigenblatt
Doctoral Student, Nova Southeastern University, 1420 High Point Way SW Apt. B, Delray Beach, Florida 33445, USA. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 November 2009
  •  Published: 30 November 2009


The present paper explores some of the lessons that can be learned from the reigns of the first two Rajahs of the Brook dynasty of Sarawak. They ruled over a realm populated by Malays, Dyaks, Chinese and Europeans with great wisdom and skills. Rajahs James Brooke and Charles Brooke both identified important local capacities for peace and strengthened them so as to keep their multiethnic state together. Comparing and contrasting the rule of a British dynasty in Southeast Asia during the colonial period to the post-colonial colonialism of the Thai State in the Deep South shows that some characteristics of traditional colonial rule as exercised by the White Rajahs of Sarawak were more likely to lead to sustainable peace and development than the excesses of post-colonial nationalism.


Key words: Sarawak, colonialism, capacities for peace, development, ethnic conflict.