The International History of East Asia, 1900–1968
Trade, Ideology and the Quest for Order
Edited by Antony Best
Routledge – 2010 – 224 pages
This book provides a broad account of the international history of East Asia from 1900 to 1968 - a subject that is essential to any understanding of the modern epoch. Whereas much of the scholarship on this subject has focused purely on the immediate origins and consequences of violent events such as wars and revolutions, this book demonstrates the importance of also considering other forces such as ideology, trade and cultural images that have helped shape East Asian international history. It analyses how the development of the region was influenced by ideological competition and ‘orientalism’, by both multilateral and unilateral efforts to instil order, and by the changing nature of international trade. It considers a number of important topics such as the concept of the ‘open door’; the rise and influence of progressive internationalism in the forum of the League of Nations; the development of anti-colonial nationalism and anti-Western internationalism in the shape of pan-Asianism; and the onset of the Cold War. It also includes detailed case studies of subjects including the administration of the Chinese Maritime Customs Service; the international effort to regulate the trade in opium; and the significance of intra-Asian trade. Overall, this book constitutes an impressive account of the international history of East Asia, and is an important contribution to the interpretive study of this crucial period of history.
"An interesting and stimulating collection of papers… A series of stimulating and provocative essays that point the way for further research." - J. E. Hoare, Asian Affairs, Nov 2010
"[T]he book answers very well to the objectives set in it, i.e. the analytical point of view in which the region’s development has been influenced by ideological competition, both multilateral and unilateral efforts to instil order and the changing nature of international trade. The authors are noted experts in their topic areas, and the book begins handsomely with Ian Nish’s article and concludes with Akira Iriye’s final comments!" - Olavi K. Fält, Oulu; Comparativ 22 (2012)1
1. Forty Years of Diminishing Cordiality: Anglo-Japanese Relations 1902–41 2. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and International Politics in Asia, 1902–23 3. Anglo-Japanese Relations and Treaty Port China: The Case of the Maritime Customs Service 4. The League of Nations, Washington and Internationalism in East Asia: With Special Reference to the League’s Attempt to Control Opium 5. Internationalism in East Asia: The Naval Armaments Limitation System, 1922–39 6. Japan and Pan-Asianism 7. Bombing, Japanese Pan-Asianism and Chinese Nationalism 8. Britain and the Origins of the San Francisco System 9. The Cold War and Nationalism in Southeast Asia: British Strategy, 1948–60 10. The East Asian International Economic Order in the 1950s 11. ‘Complementarity’, Decolonization, and the Cold War: British Responses to Japan’s Economic Revival in Southeast Asia During the 1950s and 1960s
Antony Best is Senior Lecturer in International History at the London School of Economics, UK. He is the author of Britain, Japan and Pearl Harbor: Avoiding War in East Asia, 1936-1941, and British Intelligence and the Japanese Challenge in Asia, 1914-1941.