SOAS University of London

Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy

The Historical Significance of East Asia’s Reemergence

Philip Golub

Date: 21 March 2017Time: 1:00 PM

Finishes: 21 March 2017Time: 3:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 4429

Type of Event: Talk

About the speaker: Philip Golub is Professor of International Relations at the American University of Paris (AUP). He has also taught at l’Institut d’études politiques of Paris (Sciences-Po) and Université Paris 8. He writes for the monthly Le monde diplomatique, where he was a Contributing Editor in the 2000s, and was one of the founders and Editors of The Asia Times in the 1990s. Trained as a historical sociologist of international relations his research focuses on globalization, late-modern imperial history, and postcolonial world politics. He is author of Power, Profit and Prestige: A History of American Imperial Expansion (Pluto Press, 2010) and East Asia’s Reemergence (Polity Press, 2016).

Abstract: Thanks to a coherent developmental dynamic of remarkable intensity, duration and spatial scope, East Asia is gradually regaining the position in the world economy that it enjoyed prior to the great East-West and North-South divergence, commensurate with its demographic weight. In the wake of Japan, which played a precursor role in the late nineteenth century, countries that appeared caged in subordinate positions in the world capitalist economy, or like the People’s Republic of China (PRC) stood outside of it, have been climbing the development ladder, becoming determining actors of the movement of East-West rebalancing that is one of the main features of our global present. Over the past four decades, East Asia’s share of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in purchasing power parity (PPP), has thus risen from less than 10 percent to 30 percent, a ratio that should rise by 2030 to just over 40 percent. Thanks to a developmental state that has successfully steered the capitalist transition and harnessed global flows to endogenous development purposes, China has become the world’s second largest economy in current exchange rates (the largest in PPP), and the gravitational core of increasingly thick “South-South” linkages that are altering the hierarchies constructed during the age of Western empire and industry.

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