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The Asian Mediterranean

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The Asian Mediterranean

Port Cities and Trading Networks in China, Japan and Southeast Asia, 13th–21st Century

François Gipouloux

François Gipouloux, Research Director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France

2011 424 pp Hardback 978 0 85793 426 0
ebook isbn 978 0 85793 427 7

Hardback £101.00 on-line price £90.90


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‘François Gipouloux has written a vast and comprehensive history of the Asian economic system. In the tradition of Braudel, he paints a picture that is detailed, full of insight, and essentially very long term. On the basis of an analysis of the old Mediterranean and Hanseatic economic networks, he surveys the pre-modern Asian system, bringing it up to date with studies of Yokohama, Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian hubs. The culmination of many years’ work, Gipouloux throws light on a new China – a China no longer land based and inward looking but dependent on, and a power in, a maritime world.’
– Christopher Howe, University of London, UK


Further information

This insightful book draws upon a wide range of disciplines – political economy, geography and international relations – to examine how Asia has returned to its central position in the world economy.

As in the case of the hosting of the Olympic games, it is cities rather than states which compete, whether as financial centres, logistical hubs or platforms for coordinating international subcontracting. Analysing the historical precedents of the Mediterranean maritime republics, the Baltic Sea Hanseatic League and the South China Sea mercantile kingdoms, the book delineates the way stable economic and legal institutions were developed largely beyond the purview of, and at times in conflict with, the State.

Discussing the strong link between history and contemporary economic situation, The Asian Mediterranean will appeal to academics, including post-graduate students of economics, geography, history, regional studies and Asian studies.

Full table of contents

Contents: Preface Introduction: The ‘Mediterraneans’ of Europe and Asia Part I: Two Models of Expansion Without Borders: The European Mediterraneans 1. The Mediterraneans and Global Expansion 2. Long Distance Trade and Urban Sovereignty: The Competitive Model of the Mediterranean at the Time of the Repubbliche Marinare 3. The Hanseatic League: A Model of Cooperation on the Baltic Sea Part II: Early Outlines of an Asian Mediterranean: The Predominance of Tributary Trade 4. Asian Trading Kingdoms and Independent Urban Entities: From the 7th to the 17th Century 5. The Organisation of Trade in Asia: The Weight of Government Monopolies 6. Tributary Trade and Unofficial Trade 7. Japan’s Place in Intra-Asian Trade: Resisting Chinese Hegemony 8. The Asian Maritime System Part III: The Overlapping of Western and Asian Trading Networks 9. European Expansion or Asian Force of Attraction? 10. Forced Openings and Treaty Ports 11. The Cosmopolitanism of Asian Trade Networks Part IV: The Arena of Re-globalisation: The Second Birth of the Asian Mediterranean 12. Chinese Coastal Cities Confronting the Challenge of Globalisation 13. The East Asian Manufacturing Belt 14. Hong Kong versus Shanghai: Rivalry between Middlemen 15. Competition between Logistic Hubs in Asia 16. Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Peking: Where Will China’s International Financial Centre be Located? Part V: The Asian Mediterranean and the Challenges to State Sovereignty 17. Transnational Regions and the East Asian Economic Corridor: An Asian Mediterranean 18. The Asian Mediterranean and the Reshaping of China’s Economic Space 19. Local Protectionism and Trade Wars: Market Fragmentation in China 20. China’s Power Base Shifts Back Towards the Sea Conclusion Bibliography Index

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