This book investigates public claims for the protection of weak groups and interests in Japan and China from the nineteenth century to the present day. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, it engages with ongoing global debates relevant to both Western and non-Western societies whilst also providing an historically informed analysis of contemporary issues. Using case studies on disaster victims, employee well-being, cultural heritage and animal welfare, this book analytically distinguishes between framing, mobilisation and institutionalisation processes. It examines these processes at the intersections of international and domestic spheres and, in doing so, demonstrates how drives for protection are formulated, contested and played out in practice. Ultimately however, this book argues that claims for protection do not necessarily translate into effective measures, but may in fact entail ambiguous or negative outcomes for the protected ‘weak’. Protecting the Weak in East Asia makes a significant contribution to the empirical and theoretical research into the transformation of East Asian societies. As such, it will appeal to students and scholars of Asian history, Asian culture and society and East Asian Studies more broadly.
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From the Foundations in Global Studies series, this text offers students a fresh, comprehensive, multidisciplinary entry point to East Asia. After a brief introduction to the study of East Asia, the early chapters of the book survey the essentials of East Asian history; important historical narratives; and the region's languages, religions, and global connections. Students are guided through the material with relevant maps, resource boxes, and text boxes that support and guide further independent exploration of the topics at hand. The second half of the book features interdisciplinary case studies, each of which focuses on a specific country or region and a particular issue. Each chapter gives a flavor for the cultural distinctiveness of the particular country yet also draws attention to global linkages. Readers will come away from this book with an understanding of the larger historical, political, and cultural frameworks that shaped East Asia as we know it today, and of current issues that have relevance in Asia and beyond.
From the founding of the Ming dynasty in 1368 to the start of the Opium Wars in 1841, China has engaged in only two large-scale conflicts with its principal neighbors, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. These four territorial and centralized states have otherwise fostered peaceful and long-lasting relationships with one another, and as they have grown more powerful, the atmosphere around them has stabilized. Focusing on the role of the "tribute system" in maintaining stability in East Asia and fostering diplomatic and commercial exchange, Kang contrasts this history against the example of Europe and the East Asian states' skirmishes with nomadic peoples to the north and west. Scholars tend to view Europe's experience as universal, but Kang upends this tradition, emphasizing East Asia's formal hierarchy as an international system with its own history and character. His approach not only recasts common understandings of East Asian relations but also defines a model that applies to other hegemonies outside of the European order.
Contemporary East Asian societies are still struggling with complex legacies of colonialism, war and domination. Years of Japanese imperial occupation followed by the Cold War have entrenched competing historical understandings of responsibility for past crimes in Korea, China, Japan and elsewhere in the region. In this context, even the impressive economic and cultural networks that have developed over the past sixty years have failed to secure peaceful coexistence and overcome lingering attitudes of distrust and misunderstanding in the region. This book examines the challenges of historical reconciliation in East Asia, and, in doing so, calls for a reimagining of how we understand both historical identity and responsibility. It suggests that by adopting a ‘forward-looking’ approach that eschews obsession with the past, in favour of a reflective and deliberative engagement with history, real progress can be made towards peaceful coexistence in East Asia. With chapters that focus on select experiences from East Asia, while simultaneously situating them within a wider comparative perspective, the contributors to this volume focus on the close relationship between reconciliation and ‘inherited responsibility’ and reveal the contested nature of both concepts. Finally, this volume suggests that historical reconciliation is essential for strengthening mutual trust between the states and people of East Asia, and suggests ways in which such divisive legacies of conflict can be overcome. Providing both an overview of the theoretical arguments surrounding reconciliation and inherited responsibility, alongside examples of these concepts from across East Asia, this book will be valuable to students and scholars interested in Asian politics, Asian history and international relations more broadly.
Home to a rapidly rising superpower and the two largest economies in the world after the US, a global East Asia is seen and felt everywhere. This dynamic text views the global square from the perspective of the world’s most important rising global center. East Asia’s global impact is built on a dizzying combination: a strong and deep civilizational self-consciousness fused with hypermodernity, wealth, influence, and power, which have made the region a beacon for the world and an alternative to the West. Short, accessible essays by prominent experts on the region cover the core of East Asian—Japan, China, and Korea—as well as Mongolia and Taiwan. Topics include contemporary culture, artistic production, food, science, economic development, digital issues, education and research, and international collaboration. Students will glean new perspectives about the region using the insights of global studies.
Heritage and Religion in East Asia examines how religious heritage, in a mobile way, plays across national boundaries in East Asia and, in doing so, the book provides new theoretical insights into the articulation of heritage and religion. Drawing on primary, comparative research carried out in four East Asian countries, much of which was undertaken by East Asian scholars, the book shows how the inscription of religious items as "Heritage" has stimulated cross-border interactions among religious practitioners and boosted tourism along modern pilgrimage routes. Considering how these forces encourage cross-border links in heritage practices and religious movements in China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan, the volume also questions what role heritage plays in a region where Buddhism, Taoism, and other various folk religious practices are dominant. Arguing that it is diversity and vibrancy that makes religious discourse in East Asia unique, the contributors explore how this particularity both energizes and is empowered by heritage practices in East Asia. Heritage and Religion in East Asia enriches understanding of the impact of heritage and religious culture in modern society and will be of interest to academics and students working in heritage studies, anthropology, religion, and East Asian studies.
Western liberal constitutionalism has expanded recently, with, in East Asia, the constitutional systems of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan based on Western principles, and with even the socialist polities of China and Vietnam having some regard to such principles. Despite the alleged universal applicability of Western constitutionalism, however, the success of any constitutional system depends in part on the cultural values, customs and traditions of the country into which the constitutional system is planted. This book explains how the values, customs and traditions of East Asian countries are Confucian, and discusses how this is relevant to constitutional practice in the region. The book outlines how constitutionalism has developed in East Asia over a long period, considers different scholarly work on the ease or difficulty of integrating Western constitutionalism into countries with a Confucian outlook, and examines the prospects for such integration going forward. Throughout, the book covers detailed aspects of Confucianism and the workings of constitutions in practice.
In recent decades, East Asia has become increasingly interconnected through trade, investment, migration, and popular culture at regional and global levels. At the same time, the region has seen renewed national assertiveness and nationalist impulses. The book interrogates these seemingly contradictory developments as they bear on the transformations of the nation and citizenship in East Asia. Conventionally, studies on East Asia juxtapose these developments, focusing on the much-exercised dichotomy of the national and transnational. In contrast, this book suggests a different orientation. First, it moves beyond the simplistic view that demarcates the transnational as "the West". Second, it does not view the national and transnational as distinct or contradictory spheres of influence and analysis, but rather, focuses on the interactions between the two, with a view on how these interactions work to transform the ideals and practices of the "good nation", "good society", and "good citizen". The chapters cover a broad range of empirical research--education, science, immigration, multicultural policy, human rights, gender and youth orientations, art and food flows, politics of values and regional identity--which highlight the ways in which the nation is reconfigured, and the relationship between the citizen and (national) collective is redefined, in relation to transnational dynamics and frameworks. Transnational Trajectories in East Asia provides a new perspective on and original analysis of transnational processes, bringing a fresh understanding to developments of the nation and citizenship in the region. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of transnationalization and globalization; comparative citizenship, migration, and multiculturalism; and Asian politics, society, and regionalism.
"East Asia has a fifth of the world's population and consumes over half of the world's coal, a quarter of its petroleum products, and 10 percent of its natural gas. It produces a third of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change. Following World War II, emphasis on economic development led first Japan, then Taiwan and the Republic of Korea, and now the People's Republic of China to experience rapid economic growth. This process has brought environmental challenges, evoking governmental concern and environmental movements. The region is an excellent arena in which to study the complex dynamics of environmental politics, as its four countries share ecological, social, cultural, and political characteristics, but they vary in size, resource wealth, history, and political systems. This enables analysis of how these factors can influence environmental politics and how national policy can become reshaped by environmental advocacy. East Asia's pro-environmental shift represents a fundamental change from purely developmental to "eco-developmental," recognizing that greater environmental sustainability is critical for economic growth. Topics addressed in the case studies presented here include Japan after Fukushima, genetically modified food in Japan and Korea, coal plants and wind turbines in China, energy security in Taiwan, Chinese grassroots environmental NGOs, and sustainable rural development in Korea"--