WiSe 15/16: Regionalism in (Post) Modern East Asia
East Asia both as a region of increasing global economic power as well as one of national and territorial conflicts is not only debated in newspaper headlines. Regionalism in East Asia has emerged as ... read more
East Asia both as a region of increasing global economic power as well as one of national and territorial conflicts is not only debated in newspaper headlines. Regionalism in East Asia has emerged as a key topic of academic research during the past decades. Looking at the topic from a historical perspective helps us to understand the processes that lead to current political or economic issues in East Asia and its place in a global world. East Asia as a region has not only a long history. It represents a specific response to process of global interaction. At the same time, regions are products of shared texts and imaginations, of networks and pathways, that is of forms of interaction within the region.
In the seminar we will assess the topic chronologically on three different levels. First, we investigate regionalist projects. Reaching back into the early modern period, historical actors have pursued larger regionalist projects both on the governmental or state level and on the grassroots level. Second, we focus on regional ties. Processes of interaction and exchange - of goods, people, and ideas - were not confined to nation-states, and at the same time did not necessarily extend across the globe. Third, we trace the effects of regionalism. An important facet of modern processes of regionalization is that they must be seen, to some extent, as the product of larger processes of global integration. We will ask to which extent regionalism in East Asia is not based on shared characteristics, and not made entirely from within, but also a response to forces from without. Theoretically we will become familiar with approaches challenging both the temporal and spatial "natural-ness" of the region, aiming to transcend internalist forms of historical narratives.