Between 17th – 18th April, fifteen scholars drawn from CRISEA’s Work Package 3 “The State” met for two days of intense discussions at St John’s College, University of Cambridge. Tomas Larsson and Pham Quynh Phuong, the leaders of the Work Package, alongside Jacques Leider, the Scientific Coordinator, skillfully organized debates into six sessions. In general, two papers were presented in each session allowing ample time for in-depth discussion of each paper. The sessions were organized along the lines of the four modules in the Work Package which deal with the four types of challenges to the liberal state in Southeast Asia. These challenges are respectively those presented by the rise of populism, regime change, institutional developments and heightened religious affirmations.