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Asia, America, and the Transformation of Geopolitics


  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521720236

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About the Authors
  • American security and prosperity now depend on Asia. William H. Overholt offers an iconoclastic analysis of developments in each major Asian country, Asian international relations, and US foreign policy. Drawing on decades of political and business experience, he argues that obsolete Cold War attitudes tie the US increasingly to an otherwise isolated Japan and obscure the reality that a US-Chinese bicondominium now manages most Asian issues. Military priorities risk polarizing the region unnecessarily, weaken the economic relationships that engendered American preeminence, and ironically enhance Chinese influence. As a result, US influence in Asia is declining. Overholt disputes the argument that democracy promotion will lead to superior development and peace, and forecasts a new era in which Asian geopolitics could take a drastically different shape. Covering Japan, China, Russia, Central Asia, India, Pakistan, Korea, and South-East Asia, Overholt offers invaluable insights for scholars, policy-makers, business people, and general readers.

    • Wide-ranging criticism of recent US policy towards a region vital to its economic well-being
    • Covers Asia from Korea to Kazakhstan, with in-depth analysis of US relations with China, Japan and India
    • Overholt has been a successful banker, academic, and political adviser in the region
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A sweeping tour d'horizon of Asia's profoundly changing geopolitical landscape, presented with zest and bold judgments. An important and timely dissection of the implications of the ongoing eastward shift in the world's center of gravity.' Zbigniew Brzezinski, Former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States

    'Deng Xiaoping is right; Gorbachev is wrong. Which American dared to say this when they were in office? Bill Overholt. In this volume, Bill Overholt continues his tradition of challenging Western conventional wisdom on Asia. As he says 'old ideas burn themselves into the minds and can be excised only by some searing experience'. If his book is read by critical policymakers, the world may well be spared a 'searing experience' in handling the inevitable rise of Asia.' Kishore Mahbubani Dean, author of Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World

    'Overholt draws on decades of diverse experiences throughout Asia to provide a book profuse with fresh perspectives on its changing geopolitics. This will be must reading for both specialists and generalists.' T. J. Pempel, University of California, Berkeley

    'This work analyzes Asia in its broadest dimensions - economic, political, and strategic. It then applies its findings to implications for American foreign policy, and concludes with a survey of possible future scenarios for Asia and the U.S. While the reader may differ with the author on certain interpretations, the study provides an unprecedented opportunity to reexamine Asia's past and present, and to explore its future as well as that of the United States.' Professor Robert A. Scalapino, Robson Research Professor of Government Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley

    'Mr. Overholt also presents perceptive and … provocative assessments of Southeast Asia, South Asia.' Far Eastern Economic Review

    '… Overholt offers a comprehensive survey of trends in Asia and arrives at a set of possible scenarios for future developments. …' The Royal Society for Asian Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521720236
    • length: 368 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: The inertia of foreign policies
    2. Cold War assumptions and changing realities
    3. Regional trends
    4. Asia's big powers: Japan and China
    5. Smaller places, decisive pivots: Taiwan, Korea, Southeast Asia
    6. The aspiring power and its near abroad: India and South Asia
    7. Russia and its near abroad
    8. The United States and the New Asia
    9. Scenarios for the future
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    William H. Overholt, RAND Corporation, California
    William H. Overholt holds the Asia Policy Research Chair at RAND's California headquarters and is Director of the Center. Dr Overholt was previously Joint Senior Fellow at Harvard University. After eight years at a think tank consulting on national security issues, he ran investment bank research teams, mainly in Asia, from 1980 to 2001 and served as a consultant to several major political figures in Asia. He is the author of six books, including The Rise of China (1993), which won the Mainichi News/Asian Affairs Research Center Special Book Prize.

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