Over the past decade the military in a number of countries has played an important role both in bringing about changes of political regime and in resisting pressures for change. This volume, whose compilation was undertaken within the context of the Regime Change and Regime Maintenance in Asia and the Pacific project of The Australian National University’s Department of Political and Social Change, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, brings together a number of prominent regional specialists to take a fresh look at the military’s changing role in selected countries of Asia and the island Pacific, with particular regard to their performance against criteria of democratic government. The book provides a sequel to Selochan’s earlier collection, The Military, the State, and Development in Asia and the Pacific (Westview, 1991).

Claire Smith, Bev Fraser and Allison Ley again provided expert midwifery in bringing the book into being and our colleagues Harold Crouch and Bob Lowry made helpful comments on the manuscript. As always it has been difficult to avoid being overtaken by events and we are grateful to our co-contributors for their forbearance in providing updates and waiting out the (mostly) inevitable delays in finalising the volume.

V.S. and R.J.M.