Interregional Linkages in a Changing Global System
Edited by Peter W. Preston and Julie Gilson
Chapter 1: Europe-Asia: regional interlinkages, mutual definitions and formal mechanisms
CHAPTER 1 12/9/01 8:57 am Page 3 1. Europe-Asia: regional interlinkages, mutual definitions and formal mechanisms Peter W. Preston and Julie A. Gilson INTRODUCTION The chapters in this volume are concerned, one way or another, with the interchange between the internal dynamics and regional interlinkages of the European Union and East Asia.1 Collectively they address the ways in which patterns of life within one region are shaped by their contacts with the other region. It is a process of mutual exchange and definition. At the present time a series of complex changes within the global system can be identified: (i) the very sharp reforms to the hitherto state-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe; (ii) the accelerating integration of the member countries of the European Union; (iii) the slow relative decline of the USA; and (iv) the sequence of broadly integrative changes in East Asia. It is within this general context that an intense interest in the global system and the role of regionalism has developed. In turn, within this context, there is an increasing interest in the interchange between the internal dynamics and regional interlinkages of the European Union and East Asia. These interlinkages may be understood from a number of perspectives. They represent historical developments in interchanges between the two regions, which, in turn, have influenced the unique formation of Asia and Europe. This history could be read as a simple narrative, or as an archaeology of the present, illustrating how the past is inscribed in the...
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