Asia in the World-System
The world economic crisis, whose arrival Andre Gunder Frank was among the earliest to announce and systematically analyze to a disbelieving world, rather imperceptibly left the sphere of controversy (“Crisis? What crisis?”) some time ago and entered the realm of fact acknowledged by all. This essay focuses on the region that has so far been an exception to the world economic slowdown: the Asian arc of the Pacific Rim. By any measure, the economic performance of East Asia from north to south is exceptional. It is exceptional in more ways than one, and as is often the case, it may be an exception that proves the rule. Effectively, the Cold War is over and, as Frank notes with no surprise, in Asia it is Japan that has won. Those who failed to anticipate these developments may proclaim that with the fading away of the East-West conflict, and the complete reintegration of the Eastern bloc into the world capitalist system, history — after a 70-year detour — has come to an end. East Asians, for their part, may additionally proclaim that with the advent of the Pacific Age, history — after a 500-year detour — has come full circle, as the East rises again and the West declines.
world systems analysis, Asia — economy, Japan — economy, U.S.-China relations, U.S.-Japan relations, capitalism, international economics, Frank, Andre Gunder
Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (1996): 228-249