Over the past forty years, East Asia has been radically transformed from a war-damaged sub-continent to a region of global pre-eminence. With new, highly developed scientific resources, great economic strengths, significant global trading links and equally powerful financial resources, East Asia is now one of the most dynamic regions in the global system.
This book illuminates the historical development trajectory and contemporary circumstances of the countries of the region. Embracing a cross-disciplinary perspective, it summarises the history of the region and goes on to focus upon the rise of East Asia since the ruins of the Pacific War. Analysing the region’s basic strengths and the distinctive elite development strategies across the various countries, it also examines areas of domestic, intra-regional and international conflict. It covers the basic ground of political economy, society, culture and politics, whilst also taking care to locate the contemporary region in its own history and asking, what further change can be expected in the future?
Providing an excellent introduction to the study of the region, this book is an important read for students and scholars of East Asian politics, history and development.
Table of Contents
Part One: Complex change and the logics of forms-of-life
1. Argument making in social science
2. Substantive theoretical traditions
3. Livelihood investigated
Part Two: The shift to the modern world in East Asia
4. Colonialism and modernity: the overall trajectory
5. Colonialism and modernity: disentangling the issues
Part Three: Successor elites and the pursuit of national development
6. The dissolution of state-empires
7. The formation of successor elites
8. Power, authority and dissent
9. Development issues faced
Part Four: East Asia in the changing global system
10. The region in overview
11. Globalization and the end of history
Part Five: East Asia: success and its costs
12. Elite projects and post-colonial goals
13. States, masses and the idea of democracy
14. Collective memory and national pasts
15. Performance and problem
P.W. Preston is Emeritus Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Birmingham, UK. His recent publications include Political-Cultural Developments in East Asia (2017) and The Logic of Chinese Politics (2016).