Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region

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Remapping East Asia: The Construction of a Region

By T.J. Pempel
Cornell University Press, 2004
330 pp. $49.95
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This volume brings a variety of perspectives to the emergence of East Asian regionalism. Objective factors would suggest that East Asia lacks the prerequisites for regional cohesion, for it is characterized by great cultural and religious diversity, both among the countries and within them. Yet regional institutions and practices have successfully emerged and matured. State-level cooperation has produced institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and dynamic regionalization by nongovernmental social and economic networks has driven other regional developments. Meanwhile, the advance of East Asian regionalism has made leaders more secure about their role in world politics. In December 2005, Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi will chair a meeting of the ten ASEAN states plus Japan, China, and South Korea to discuss the formation of a new East Asian community -- a development clearly foreseen by this book's authors.