Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Jakarta’s 2017 Gubernatorial Election and the Future of Indonesian Politics

Since the formation of the country, Indonesia’s diversity has posed a challenge to national integration. A shared sense of belonging to Indonesia had to be instilled among a large number of people with different preexisting ethnic, cultural, and religious loyalties, and, moreover, who had different visions of the postcolonial state. The first two presidents, Sukarno and Suharto, who between them ruled the nation for fifty-three years, employed authoritarian means to hold the sprawling archipel...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Teaching East Asia: Korea Lessons and Resources for K–12 Classrooms

In my experience as a university professor, teaching Korean history, while enjoyable, has its challenges. While most students are curious and eager to learn, much of the material is foreign to their own experiences, and they even find themselves struggling with something so seemingly simple as names (how can anyone unfamiliar with the Korean language be expected to pronounce the names of Sin Saimdang, Seondeok, or Yi Sunshin correctly based purely on the romanization?). However, dedicated K–12...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World

By Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne Foreword by Henry A. Kissinger Cambridge: MIT Press, 2013 224 pages, ISBN: 978-0262019125, Hardcover Reviewed by David Kenley Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World, by Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwill, and Ali Wyne, provides a fascinating introduction to the thoughts and attitudes of one of the twentieth century’s most complex political leaders. Lee was the first prime minister of inde...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Incarnations, a History of India in Fifty Lives

By Sunil Khilnani New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2017 464 pages, ISBN: 978-0374537210, Paperback Reviewed by Tommy Lamont In his latest book, Incarnations, Sunil Khilnani, director of the Kings College London India Institute, helps broaden and deepen our understanding of and appreciation for the rich history of South Asia, particularly India. With the same smooth, bold, and engaging style that characterized his excellent 1997 award-winning book The Idea of India, Khilnani once again w...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?

By Graham Allison Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017 384 pages, ISBN: 978-0544935273, Hardcover Reviewed by John F. Copper Most readers will likely find Graham Allison’s newest book, Destined for War, interesting and fresh. Many will agree with this reviewer that it is a work that may entitle Allison to join the ranks of Francis Fukuyama (The End of History) and Samuel Huntington (The Clash of Civilizations), who offer powerful templates, if not plausible theories, to help explain c...

Book Review Essay, Resources

Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power

How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power By Howard W. French New York: Vintage, 2018 (reprint) 352 pages, ISBN: 978-0804172455, Paperback Reviewed by Robert W. Foster For the past several years, I have traveled in China at the end of September as the country ramps up for National Day on October 1. In the cities, one cannot avoid Xi Jinping’s China Dream campaign, with various attractive posters urging “Chinese spirit, Chinese culture, Chinese forms, Chinese exp...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course

An Ambitious and Uncertain Course Edited by Andrew S. Erickson Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016 376 pages, ISBN: 9781682470817, Hardcover By Andrew M. McGreevy The thesis of Chinese Naval Shipbuilding: An Ambitious and Uncertain Course is that the People’s Republic of China, since 2000, has become the world leader in commercial shipping and that its navy is emerging as a rival to the dominance of the United States Navy (USN) in Asian waters. China’s fast rise in maritime...

Resources, Teaching Resources Essay

Teaching with China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation

Syrian refugees on rafts in the Mediterranean Sea, Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing in Burma, Somalians and Sudanese fleeing military conflict and famine on the rim of Ethiopia—migration is perpetual headline news. In the US, the story is of stemming the tide of migrants from Mexico and the Caribbean. In all cases, migration is viewed as a problem to be controlled or stopped.

Columns, Digital Asia, Resources

MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses) and Asian Studies

“Given that education has been calcified for 500 years, we really have to completely reimagine it. It’s like going from ox carts to the airplane.” This was the challenge laid out to a TED audience in January 2014 by Anant Agarwal, CEO of EdX. In his talk, Agarwal promised nothing less than to revolutionize education through MOOCs (or massively open online courses). By the end of the year, an article in the MIT Technology Review hit back, suggesting that “For all the hype, MOOCs are reall...

Feature Article

Asia’s Role in the Four Industrial Revolutions

The United States and Europe have been at the forefront of the Industrial Revolutions over the last two and a half centuries. Almost all Asian countries, except Japan, were latecomers to these revolutions. Nevertheless, many of them, including China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia, made significant progress by the end of the Third Industrial Revolution. What follows is a brief depiction of the involvement of Japan; the “Asian Giants,” China and Indi...

Feature Article

The Rise of China and Its Geopolitical Implications

In 1993, Nicholas Kristof published an influential article entitled "The Rise of China" in Foreign Affairs magazine (see quotation on right). The article attracted immediate attention, as it was the first discussion of the phenomenon in a widely circulated publication. A quarter of a century later, the article remains relevant, as many of the issues continue to be important—the economic growth of China, the spread of Chinese influence in the world, and the development of geopolitical tensions ...

Feature Article

The Rise of Hindu Nationalism and Its Regional and Global Ramifications

European powers gained interest in the Indian subcontinent by the late fifteenth century. Competing powers, including the Dutch, French, Portuguese, and British, sought to control valuable resources and trade routes centered around spices, textiles, and tea. The British ultimately established their dominance in the subcontinent when British crown rule was formally declared in 1858 following a protracted nationalist uprising known as the Sepoy mutiny. The next ninety years would be especially tur...

The Middle Class in India: From 1947 to the Present and Beyond

The middle classes of all countries have been the key drivers of the global economy in the last century. During the past several decades, world economic growth has occurred, mostly because of increased consumption in the middle classes of the United States, Europe, and other advanced countries. This class has been considered a thriving and vibrant catalyst for economic growth. It provides a strong base that drives productive investment and is a critical factor in encouraging other social develop...

Feature Article

A New North Korean Paradigm

US policy toward North Korea has undergone a seismic shift in the wake of the 2017 US presidential inauguration, from “strategic patience” to “strategic accountability.” The world has also borne witness to a darker side of that policy shift, characterized by an escalating war of words between the United States and North Korea, or more specifically between its two leaders. Bluster-filled news headlines (and Twitter feeds) with a tenor reminiscent of Cold War-era histrionics have become th...

Feature Article

North Korea’s Nuclear Challenge

North Korea, officially Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a family dynasty. The current leader, Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his father, Kim Jong-il, in 2011, is only the third leader of the country since its founding in 1948 by Kim Il-sung. The division of the Korean peninsula into two separate countries in 1948 was perpetuated by the 1950–1953 Korean War. The two Koreas took different paths, and today, South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK), is one of the most dyn...

Feature Article

What Honors High School and Undergraduate Survey Instructors Should Know about North Korea’s Nuclear Threat

In October 2006, North Korea, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as it is officially known, detonated a small nuclear device. By the end of 2017, it had conducted four more nuclear weapons tests; the last on September 3, 2017, perhaps a hydrogen bomb, was capable of destroying a major city. It is the only country to have tested nuclear weapons in the twenty-first century. P’yŏngyang is also developing a missile delivery system that will be able to reach any part of the Uni...

Feature Article

Japanese Millennials and Politics: An Introduction

In the summer of 2016, Japanese youngest millennials, eighteen and nineteen years old, went to the polls for the first time. Until then, the voting age had been set at twenty years old, but a 2015 revision in the legislation dating from 1945 changed this. It was the only revision in the Public Offices Election Act in seventy years, which had originally lowered the voting age from twenty-five to twenty and empowered women to vote for the first time.

Feature Article

Constructing Communism Teaching about Revolutionary Societies through Chinese Poster Art

The images are striking: Brilliant smiles on happy peasants, proudly driving their tractors, harvesting their crops, fields bright yellow with grain. Workers in steel mills, their serious faces illuminated by orange glowing metal. Soldiers, airmen, sailors in their green and white uniforms, sternly on guard, holding their weapons and red books against an unseen enemy. A happy family, enjoying urban prosperity under the all-seeing gaze of Chairman Mao Zedong. Angry youth contemptuously smashing a...

Feature Article

Helen Foster Snow in Revolutionary China, the Cold War, and Contemporary America

Life stories about individuals involved in US–China relations offer compelling ways to engage students. These narratives demonstrate historical concepts such as change over time, interpretation, perspective, and subjectivity. They also invite consideration of how the past is used in different historical periods. Although these life stories are often unlikely to affect large-scale political and international strategic security concerns, some demonstrate how individuals have influenced positive ...

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