ReORIENT : Global Economy in the Asian Age

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Andre Gunder Frank asks us to re-orient our views away from Eurocentrism - to see the rise of the West as a mere blip in what was, and is again becoming, an Asia-centered world. In a bold challenge to received historiography and social theory he turns on its head the world according to Marx, Weber, and other theorists, including Polanyi, Rostow, Braudel, and Wallerstein. Frank explains the Rise of the West in world economic and demographic terms that relate it in a single historical sweep to the decline of the East around 1800. European states, he says, used the silver extracted from the American colonies to buy entry into an expanding Asian market that already flourished in the global economy. Resorting to import substitution and export promotion in the world market, they became Newly Industrializing Economies and tipped the global economic balance to the West. That is precisely what East Asia is doing today, Frank points out, to recover its traditional dominance. As a result, the 'center' of the world economy is once again moving to the 'Middle Kingdom' of China.
Anyone interested in Asia, in world systems and world economic and social history, in international relations, and in comparative area studies, will have to take into account Frank's exciting reassessment of our global economic past and future.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 152 x 225 x 28mm | 590g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 6 maps, 3 tables
  • 0520214749
  • 9780520214743
  • 319,381

Back cover copy

Frank shows how Marx and Weber got it all wrong. A fundamental rethinking of the rise of the West and the origin of the world-system. Absolutely essential to understanding world history.--Albert Bergesen, University of Arizona

The great virtue of this stimulating book is its relentless push to redefine our framework for thinking about the early modern economy. . . . A benchmark study.--R. Bin Wong, University of California, Irvine
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Table of contents


Introduction to Real World History vs. Eurocentric Social Theory

Holistic Methodology and Objectives

Globalism, not Eurocentrism
Smith, Marx, and Weber
Contemporary Eurocentrism and Its Critics
Economic Historians
Limitations of Recent Social Theory
Outline of a Global Economic Perspective
Anticipating and Confronting Resistance and Obstacles

The Global Trade Carousel 1400-1800

An Introduction to the World Economy
Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Antecedents
The Columbian Exchange and Its Consequences
Some Neglected Features in the World Economy
World Division of Labor and Balances ofTrade
Mapping the Global Economy
The Americas
The Ottomans
Safavid Persia
India and the Indian Ocean
North India
Gujarat and Malabar
Southeast Asia
Archipellago and Islands
Population, Production, and Trade
China in the World Economy
Central Asia
Russia and the Baltics
Summary of a Sinocentric World Economy

Money Went Around the World and Made the World Go Round

World Money: Its Production and Exchange
Micro- and Macro-Attractions in the Global Casino
Dealing and Playing in the Global Casino
The Numbers Game

How Did the Winners Use Their Money?
The Hoarding Thesis
Inflation or Production in the Quantity Theory of Money
Money Expanded the Frontiers of Settlement and Production
In India
In China
Elsewhere in Asia

The Global Economy: Comparisons and Relations

Quantities: Population, Production, Productivity, Income, and Trade
Population, Production, and Income
Productivity and Competitiveness
World Trade 1400-1800
Qualities: Science and Technology
Eurocentrism Regarding Science and Technology in Asia
Metallurgy, Coal, and Power

World Technological Development

Mechanisms: Economic and Financial Institutions
Comparing and Relating Asian and European Institutions
Global Institutional Relations
In India
In China

Horizontally Integrative Macrohistory

Simultaneity Is No Coincidence

Doing Horizontally Integrative Macrohistory
Demographic; Structural Analysis
A "Seventeenth-Century Crisis"?
The 1640 Silver Crises
Kondratieff Analysis
The 1762-1790 Kondratieff"B" Phase: Crisis and Recessions
A More Horizontally Integrative Macrohistory?

Why Did the West Win (Temporarily)?

Is There a Long-Cycle Roller Coaster?

The Decline of the East Preceded the Rise of the West
The Decline in India
The Decline Elsewhere in Asia

How Did the West Rise?
Climbing Up on Asian Shoulders
Supply and Demand for Technological Change
Supplies and Sources of Capital

A Global Economic Demographic Explanation
A Demographic Economic Model
A High-Level Equilibrium Trap?
The Evidence: 1500-1750
The 1750 Inflection
Challenging and Reformulating the Explanation
The Resulting Transformations in India, China, Europe, and the World
In India
ln China
In Western Europe
The Rest of the World

Past Conclusions and Future Implications

Historiographic Conclusions and Theoretical Implications

Historiographic Conclusions: The Eurocentric
Emperor Has No Clothes
The Asiatic Mode of Production
European Exceptionalism
A European World-System or a Global Economy?
1500: Continuity or Break?
The Rise of the West and the Industrial Revolution
Empty Categories and Procrustean Beds

Theoretical Implications: Through the Global Looking Glass
Holism vs. Partialism
Commonality/Similarity vs. Specificity/Differences 3
Continuity vs. Discontinuities
Horiwntal Integration vs. Vertical Separation
Cycles vs. Linearity
Agency vs. Structure
Europe in the World Economic Nutshell
Jihad vs. McWorld in the Anarchy of the Clash of Civilizations?

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Review quote

"A stimulating and thoughtful book that should be read by all serious students of the modern world system." * American Journal of Sociology * "Frank justifiably calls this his best book. . . . [He] gives world history new sophistication and new challenges." * Journal of Interdisciplinary History * "This stunning synthesis by a veteran world historian looks sure to land in reading guides, figure in seminars, and be the subject of conferences. It is written with verve and enthusiasm in a conviction of novelty that reaches prophetic fervor." * American Historical Review * "No scholar can afford to ignore this serious book." * Journal of World History * This is a provocative book, for it challenges the conventional wisdom in historiography and social theory." * Review of Politics * "This marvelously ambitious and erudite historical take on the global economy has resonance within multiple contexts." * Millennium: Journal of International Studies * "A giant leap toward applications of world systemic apparatus to historical inquiry and makes significant historiographical and theoretical contributions to the field." * World History Connected *
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About Andre Gunder Frank

Andre Gunder Frank, of the University of Toronto, has published more than thirty books. Most recently he coedited, with Barry Gills, World System: Five Hundred Years or Five Thousand? (1996).
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Rating details

232 ratings
3.8 out of 5 stars
5 31% (71)
4 34% (80)
3 23% (53)
2 9% (20)
1 3% (8)
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