Drums of War, Drums of Development, Jim Glassman analyses the geopolitical economy of industrial development in East and Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War era, showing how it was shaped by the collaborative planning of US and Asian elites. Challenging both neo-liberal and neo-Weberian accounts of East Asian development, Glassman offers evidence that the growth of industry (the 'East Asian miracle') was deeply affected by the geopolitics of war and military spending (the 'East Asian massacres'). Thus, while Asian industrial development has been presented as providing models for emulation, Glassman cautions that this industrial dynamism was a product of Pacific ruling class manoeuvring which left a contradictory legacy of rapid growth, death, and ongoing challenges for development and democracy.
World Trade Systems of the East and West, Geoffrey C. Gunn profiles Nagasaki's historic role in mediating the Japanese bullion trade, especially silver exchanged against Chinese and Vietnamese silk. Founded in 1571 as the terminal port of the Portuguese Macau ships, Nagasaki served as Japan's window to the world over long time and with the East-West trade carried on by the Dutch and, with even more vigor, by the Chinese junk trade. While the final expulsion of the Portuguese in 1646 characteristically defines the “closed” period of early modern Japanese history, the real trade seclusion policy, this work argues, only came into place one century later when the Shogunate firmly grasped the true impact of the bullion trade upon the national economy.
Malay Court Religion, Culture and Language: Interpreting the Qurʾān in 17th Century Aceh Peter G. Riddell undertakes a detailed study of the two earliest works of Qur’anic exegesis from the Malay-Indonesian world. Riddell explores the 17th century context in the Sultanate of Aceh that produced the two works, and the history of both texts. He argues that political, social and religious factors provide important windows into the content and approaches of both Qur’anic commentaries. He also provides a transliteration of the Jawi Malay text of both commentaries on sūra 18 of the Qur'ān (
al-Kahf), as well as an annotated translation into English. This work represents an important contribution to the search for greater understanding of the early Islamic history of the Malay-Indonesian world.
Networks beyond Empires, Kuo examines business and nationalist activities of the Chinese bourgeoisie in Hong Kong and Singapore between 1914 and 1941. The book argues that speech-group ties were key to understanding the intertwining relationship between business and nationalism.
Organization of transnational businesses and nationalist campaigns overlapped with the boundary of Chinese speech-group networks. Embedded in different political-economic contexts, these networks fostered different responses to the decline of the British power, the expansion of the Japanese empire, as well as the contested state building processes in China. Through negotiating with the imperialist powers and Chinese state-builders, Chinese bourgeoisie overseas contributed to the making of an autonomous space of diasporic nationalism in the Hong Kong-Singapore corridor.