Interregional Linkages in a Changing Global System
Edited by Peter W. Preston and Julie Gilson
Chapter 11: East Asia: emergent regional dynamics
CHAPTER 11 12/9/01 9:08 am Page 1 11. East Asia: emergent regional dynamics Peter W. Preston INTRODUCTION At the turn of the new millennium the East Asian region is subject to close attention from political agents, policy analysts and scholars. It is clear that the region is undergoing widespread economic and social change. This chapter will present a broad survey of the salient economic and political changes presently underway in the region. It will seek to complement the detailed work presented in earlier chapters with a synoptic overview of emergent regional dynamics. The discussion will be ordered around the notion of complex change. We might speculate that it seems likely that the future of the region over the next few years will be shaped by the intermingled logics of the continuing shift to the modern world, the drive towards regionalism and finally the continuing effects of the recent financial crisis.1 READING CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL SYSTEM The end of the cold war has had a series of remarkable consequences for European observers. As the obfuscations of the period fell away, leaving politicians, policy analysts and scholars free to contemplate the world directly it became apparent that the global system had taken a distinctly tri-polar form. It was clear that the USA constituted one key power within the global system, indeed this was a familiar matter, however what was new was the relatively abrupt realization that the European Union also constituted a distinctive sphere, and that, moreover, East Asia, hitherto...
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