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Europe and the Asia-Pacific: culture, identity and representations of region

Lawson, Stephanie

Description

Issues of culture and identity have been prominent themes in social and political enquiry over the last decade or so. They have become just as conspicuous in political debates outside the academy as well. This has been especially evident in the Asia-Pacific region, especially with respect to relations with Europe and, more generally, ‘the West’. For much of the 1990s, the ‘Asian values’ debate held sway as the major discourse surrounding key developments in the region. From normative issues...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorLawson, Stephanie
dc.date.accessioned2003-06-11
dc.date.accessioned2004-05-19T18:15:13Z
dc.date.accessioned2011-01-05T08:51:33Z
dc.date.available2004-05-19T18:15:13Z
dc.date.available2011-01-05T08:51:33Z
dc.date.created2002
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/41766
dc.description.abstractIssues of culture and identity have been prominent themes in social and political enquiry over the last decade or so. They have become just as conspicuous in political debates outside the academy as well. This has been especially evident in the Asia-Pacific region, especially with respect to relations with Europe and, more generally, ‘the West’. For much of the 1990s, the ‘Asian values’ debate held sway as the major discourse surrounding key developments in the region. From normative issues such as democracy and human rights, to the analysis of the world of business and finance, Asian ‘culture’ – and therefore values – has been regarded as a major factor in defining the region and its identity. These definitions of region, moreover, have usually taken ‘the West’ as the major point of contrast. This paper provides a conceptual overview of some of the issues involved in the politics of cultural representation, highlighting the fact that gross exercizes in stereotyping, including self-stereotyping, have plagued many discussions of regionalism and inter-regional relations. It will be argued that social scientists have made their own distinctive contributions to these stereotypes with some promoting theories of relativism and determinism on the one hand, and others resorting to a dogmatic universalism on the other. Both ways of thinking appeal because they present simplifications of a rather messy world and for that reason, among others, are likely to remain attractive to many scholars as well as politicians and policy makers.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherNational Europe Centre (NEC), The Australian National University
dc.relation.ispartofseriesNational Europe Centre (NEC) Paper: No. 34
dc.rightsAuthor/s retain copyright
dc.subjectAsian values
dc.subjectinternational relations
dc.subjectEurope
dc.subjectAsia-Pacific
dc.subjectsociology
dc.subjectpolitics
dc.subjectbusiness
dc.subjectfinance
dc.subjectthe West
dc.subjectcultural representation
dc.subjectregionalism
dc.titleEurope and the Asia-Pacific: culture, identity and representations of region
dc.typeWorking/Technical Paper
local.description.refereedno
local.identifier.citationmonthjul
local.identifier.citationyear2002
local.identifier.eprintid1446
local.rights.ispublishedno
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationNational Europe Centre
local.contributor.affiliationANU
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES)

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