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 13: Conclusion: Expanding the Perspective Beyond Political Economy

Jehoon Park and Hyunsook Chung

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


Jehoon Park and Hyunsook Chung ASIA AND AN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY Guy Sorman in Chapter 2 of this volume has offered a rather pessimistic assessment of claims that the next century will be Asia’s. Kishore Mahbubani (2008) takes a critically different view: ‘Modernization describes both the physical and the ethical universe of Western societies. The really good news for the world is that modernization of Asia is beginning to spread to all corners of the continent’ (Mahbubani, 2008: 2). Mahbubani stresses that Asia and the West have yet to reach a common understanding about the nature of this new world, because we are now entering one of the most changeable moments of world history. So, he raises a significant question of whether the twenty-first century will be seen as a moment of historical triumph for the West or a moment of historical defeat. ‘The answer cannot be given now. It will depend on how the West reacts to the rise of Asia.’ He reminds us that: ‘few in the West have grasped the full implication of the two most salient features of our historical epoch. First, we have reached the end of the era of Western domination of world history. Second, we will see an enormous renaissance of Asian societies’ (Mahbubani, 2008: 9). He concludes that: ‘the first big pragmatic decision that the West needs to make is to abandon all efforts to isolate or contain any society’ (ibid.: 273). ‘It would be foolish to assume that the Western ideological assumptions...

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