National Pasts in Europe and East Asia: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

National Pasts in Europe and East Asia

1st Edition

By Peter W. Preston


368 pages

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With the rise of industrial capitalism in Europe and the related imposition of colonial rule in much of East Asia, both Europe and East Asia have intertwined histories that continue to shape their political thinking and political decision making. The contemporary interactions of the two regions – now once again major trading partners – will both depend upon and facilitate deeper understandings of their respective sets of national pasts. This book compares national pasts as well as the current processes of change taking place in Europe and East Asia, including the dynamics of the European Union in Europe and the re-emergence of the historical centre of China in East Asia. It argues that as the change unfolds in the economic, social and political fields, the various national pasts embedded with the polities of the two regions will also need to be revisited and reworked. This book makes an invaluable contribution to research on comparative politics, as well as studies on South East Asia and Europe.


"Political sociologist Preston (Univ. of Birmingham, UK) critically examines the classical and contemporary economic, social, and political conditions in two historical sites of change and continuity: Europe and East Asia. His central thesis addresses national pasts as the key to understanding the intertwined histories of the two regions. Preston offers unique insights into the continuing integration of the two regions… [this book] is essential [for] all academic collections in world history and politics, Asian studies, and comparative politics." - T. Niazi, University of Wisconsin

Table of Contents

1. National Pasts in Europe and East Asia 2. The Scale and Pace of Change Recalled 3. Available Lessons: Private Memories and Wider European Agendas 4. Europe: General Crisis, Collapse and Recovery 5. Uncomfortable Lessons: The European Union and the USA, 1989/91-2008 6. Reading the Ongoing Changes: European Identity 7. Sweeping Change in East Asia: Political Leaders and the Experience of Violence 8. East Asia: General Crisis, Collapse and National Development 9. Contested Compromises: National Pasts in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok 10. Japan/China: National Pasts and the Reordering of East Asia 11. Europe and East Asia: Intermingled Pasts and Changing Identities 12. Afterword: War is Failure

About the Author

P. W. Preston is Professor of Political Sociology at the University of Birmingham, UK. His most recent publication is Singapore in the Global System: Relationship, Structure and Change (Routledge, 2007).

About the Series

Routledge Studies in the Modern History of Asia

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Asia has undergone immense and far reaching changes: war, revolution, occupation, industrialization. This series includes in-depth research on aspects of economic, political and social history of individual countries as well as more broad-reaching analyses of regional issues.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies