The European Union and East Asia
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The European Union and East Asia

Interregional Linkages in a Changing Global System

Edited by Peter W. Preston and Julie Gilson

The global system has seen sweeping changes in recent years and this has precipitated a revival of interest in the relationship between Europe and Asia. This book examines the extent and nature of the regional linkages between East Asia and the European Union. Issues discussed include: the reactions and approaches of both regions to the Asian Crisis; postcolonialism and the balance of power in Europe-Asia Relations; trade relations between Europe and Asia and the revival of the Silk Road; and the development of the role of Asia-Europe Meetings.
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Chapter 1: Europe-Asia: regional interlinkages, mutual definitions and formal mechanisms

Peter W. Preston and Julie A. Gilson


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 routines and ideas evident today. These interlinkages could be understood in their contemporary form and, from this...

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