The rise of Pacific Asia within the tripolar global industrial-capitalist system is of extraordinary interest. Few doubt that the dynamics of Asia will shape the global political ecomy of the twenty-first century. It is clear that the Pacific Asian region is undergoing extensive development and these processes generate questions of intense interest to a wide community of enquiry. It is likely that the task of deciphering the interplay of the divergent cultural logics of the three regions of Pacific Asia, North America and the European Union will occupy scholars, policy analysts and political actors for some considerable time.This introduction will serve as a 'first stop' for those interested in Japan, its role within the Pacific Asian region and, in turn, that region's role within the evolving global system. In this volume P. W. Preston critically analyses the political ecomy, social institutions and culture of Pacific Asia. The analysis focuses on Japan, it relations with the inner periphery of South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and the outer periphery of Southeast Asia, and its developing linkages with the reforming socialist countries of China and Indo-China. The critical perspective, awareness of cultural and ethnic trends and a sophisticated grasp of political ecomic and social patterns makes this volume an essential introduction of the region.
P.W. Preston is Reader in Political Sociology in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham.