Regionalism, Economic Integration and Security in Asia

Regionalism, Economic Integration and Security in Asia

A Political Economy Approach

Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Heungchong Kim

The prospects and value of economic integration and regionalism in Asia are increasingly evident in what could turn out to be ‘the Asian Century’. It is within this context that this important book explores the critical economic issues, security concerns and political themes pertinent to Asia in general, and to East Asia in particular.

Chapter 2: Towards Asia’s Century

Guy Sorman

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, asian urban and regional studies, economics and finance, asian economics, political economy, politics and public policy, international relations, political economy, urban and regional studies, regional studies

Extract

1 Guy Sorman Western techniques and Western cultural habits have defined the global world we live in. Such a world is based on quantitative growth and individual freedom. This Western agenda has been the dominating norm since the sixteenth century: it has brought colonization and the destruction of ancient civilizations. It has also introduced everywhere more prosperity, more individual freedom and gender equality. Like it or not, this Western-dominated history of the world cannot be rewritten: it can only be assessed, with its positive and negative impacts. Today, globalization still means Westernization, in all walks of life. In economics, the main engine of growth remains located in the West, the US and Europe. When this engine stalls, which happened to be the case in 2007–09, the global economy declines. LESSON OF THE CRISIS: THE ABSENCE OF DECOUPLING Before the 2007–09 crisis, there had been much hope in Asia that East and West would follow different and more independent economic paths in future. This has not been the case. Business cycles did converge again; a credit crunch born in the West did impact upon the East, and the decline in global trade directly reduced Asian exports. Regretfully, export-driven Asian economies proved to be as dependent as ever on the global demand fuelled by the West: such an export dependency, at least in the first stage of the 2007–09 crisis, has impacted upon Asia more than the West. The absence of decoupling, however, has been rather well managed by...

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