The Historical Experiences of Polity Expansion in Asia
Asia as we know it today is the product of a wide range of polity expansions over time. Recognising the territorial expansions of Asian polities large and small through the last several millennia helps rectify the fallacy, long-held and deeply entrenched, that Asian polities have been interested only in the control of populations, not in expanding their command of territory.
In countering this misapprehension, this book suggests that Asian polities have indeed been concerned with territorial control and expansion over time, whether for political or strategic advantage, trade purposes, defence needs, agricultural expansion or increased income through taxation. The book explores the historical experiences of a set of polity expansions within Asia, specifically in East and Southeast Asia, and, by examining the motivations, mechanisms, processes, validations and limitations of these Asian territorial expansions, reveals the diverse avenues by which Asian polities have grown. The chapters draw on these historical examples to highlight the connections between Asian polity expansion and centralised political structures, and this aids in a broader and more comprehensive understanding of Asian political practice, both past and present. Through these chapter studies and the integrative introduction, the book interrogates key concepts such as imperialism and colonialism, and the applicability and relevance of such terminology in Asian contexts, both historical and contemporary. Comparisons and contrasts with European historical expansions are also suggested.
This book will be welcomed by students and scholars of Asian history, as well as by those with an interest in Asian interactions, international relations, polity expansion, Asia--Europe historical comparisons and globalisation.
Table of Contents
1. Asian Expansions: an Introduction, Geoff Wade 2. Why Do Empires Expand?, Peter C. Perdue 3. Asian States and Overseas Expansion, 1500–1700: An Approach to the Problem of European Exceptionalism, Tonio Andrade 4. The "Native Office" System – A Chinese Mechanism for Southern Territorial Expansion over Two Millennia, Geoff Wade 5. The Southeast Asian Mainland and the World Beyond: Rethinking Assumptions, Victor Lieberman 6. The Thirteenth Province: Internal Administration and External Expansion in Fifteenth Century Đại Việt, John K. Whitmore 7. The Vietnamese Empire and its Expansion 980-1840, Momoki Shiro 8. Siamese State Expansion in the Thonburi and Early Bangkok Periods, Koizumi Junko 9. Politics of Integration and Cultures of Resistance: A Study of Burma’s Conquest and Administration of Arakan, Jacques P. Leider 10. Re-evaluating State, Society and the Dynamics of Expansion in Precolonial Gowa, William Cummings
Geoff Wade is a Visiting Fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University.
"Asian Expansions, a collection of ten articles, explores the motivations, processes, and dynamics of expansion of Asian states and empires from 1400 to 1900. Examining the case of China and four Southeast-Asian countries (Vietnam, Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, to use the modern names), the articles collectively ask how Asian states or emprires expanded their territorial domain, equipped with a relatively coherent culture from 1400 to 1900 despite the kaleidoscopic ethnic, cultural, and political diversity prevalent in proevious centuries."
—Kwangmin Kim, University of Colorado, Boulder