Episodes

  • The world is in a midst of a renewable energy revolution, with the price of utility scale photo-voltaic solar power falling by nearly 90% between 2009 and 2019, and the price of wind power falling by 70% during the same period. Annual global investment in renewable electricity generation assets is now more than double that for fossil fuel and nuclear-powered generation facilities combined, and yet the pace of adoption varies greatly across countries.
    In this episode Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Assistant Professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo and coordinator of Norwegian Network for Asian Studies, moderates a discussion on the various barriers and opportunities countries in Asia and the Nordics face in trying to take advantage of this renewable energy revolution. He is joined by Paul Midford a Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of International Studies at Meiji Gakuin University, in Yokohama, Japan, Espen Moe, a Professor at the Department of Sociology and Political Science at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, and Eric Zusman, senior policy researcher and area leader at the Institute for Global Environmental Studies in Hayama, Japan.
    The talk focuses on two new books: New Challenges and Solutions for Renewable Energy: Japan, East Asia and Northern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), edited by Midford and Moe, and Aligning Climate Change and Sustainable Development Policies in Asia (Springer, 2021), edited by Zusman with Hooman Farzaneh and Yeora Chae.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • What influence can online and visual activism have on protest movements? With a wave of anti-establishment protests sweeping over East and Southeast Asia over the past couple of years, the online phenomenon of the #MilkTeaAlliance has gained increasing international recognition. In this episode of the Nordic Asia Podcast Chiara Elisabeth Pecorari is joined by Wasana Wongsurawat and Mai Corlin Fredriksen to discuss the Milk Tea Alliance. Departing from the Thai and Hong Kong contexts, they explore what role this alliance plays in the broader political context, and what future it may have.
    Wasana Wongsurawat is an associate professor at the Department of History at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Her research has focused on the Chinese diaspora and Thai nationalism.
    Mai Corlin Fredriksen is a Carlsberg Foundation postdoctoral fellow at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Her current work focuses on the role of protest walls and the use of visual material in the 2019 Hong Kong protests.
    Chiara Elisabeth Pecorari is a student of social anthropology at the University of Bergen in Norway.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • On January 10th, 1795, a very tired caravan arrives in Beijing. The travelers have journeyed from Canton on an accelerated schedule through harsh terrain in order to make it to the capital in time for the Qianlong Emperor’s sixtieth anniversary of his reign. The group is led by two Dutchmen: Isaac Titsingh and Andreas Everardus van Braam Houckgeest, who are there to represent the interests of the Dutch Republic at the imperial court. It’s a momentous occasion, especially after the disastrous British Embassy from George Macartney two years earlier.
    Little did they know that their embassy would be the last by Westerners in the traditional Chinese court. Their journey is the subject of Professor Tonio Andrade’s The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China (Princeton University Press, 2021), published earlier this year: a rich and readable volume that tells the story of an event long-neglected by history and historians.
    In this interview, Tonio and I talk about the Dutch Embassy, its protagonists and the nature of the imperial court. We discuss the perilous and rushed journey the ambassadors made to Beijing, and what their experience tells us about the nature of diplomacy.
    Tonio Andrade is professor of Chinese and global history at Emory University. His books include The Gunpowder Age: China, Military Innovation, and the Rise of the West in World History (Princeton University Press, 2017), Lost Colony: The Untold Story of China's First Great Victory over the West (Princeton University Press, 2011), and How Taiwan Became Chinese: Dutch, Spanish, and Han Colonization in the Seventeenth Century (Columbia University Press, 2007).
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Last Embassy. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • Today I interviewed Kailing Xie on her recently published book, Embodying Middle Class Gender Aspirations: Perspectives from China's Privileged Young Women (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). This book takes a feminist approach to analyse the lives of well-educated urban Chinese women, who were raised to embody the ideals of a modern Chinese nation and are largely the beneficiaries of the policy changes of the post-Mao era. It explores young women’s gendered attitudes to and experiences of marriage, reproductive choices, careers and aspirations for a good life. It sheds light on what keeps mainstream Chinese middle-class women conforming to the current gender regime. It illuminates the contradictory effects of neoliberal techniques deployed by a familial authoritarian regime on these women’s striving for success in urban China, and argues that, paradoxically, women’s individualistic determination to succeed has often led them onto the path of conformity by pursuing exemplary norms which fit into the party-state’s agenda.
    Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.
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  • Heritage Politics in China: The Power of the Past (Routledge, 2020) studies the impact of heritage policies and discourses on the Chinese state and Chinese society. It sheds light on the way Chinese heritage policies have transformed the narratives and cultural practices of the past to serve the interests of the present.
    As well as reinforcing a collective social identity, heritage in China has served as an instrument of governance and regulation at home and a tool to generate soft power abroad. Drawing on a critical analysis of heritage policies and laws, empirical case studies, and interviews with policymakers, practitioners, and local communities, the authors offer a comprehensive perspective on the role that cultural heritage plays in Chinese politics and policy. They argue that heritage-making appropriates international, national, and local values, thereby transforming it into a public good suitable for commercial exploitation. By framing heritage as a site of cooperation, contestation, and negotiation, this book contributes to our understanding of the complex nature of heritage in the rapidly shifting landscape of contemporary China.
    Nick Pozek is Assistant Director at the Parker School of Foreign & Comparative Law at Columbia University
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  • What is China's new vision for regulating cyberspace? What does its new Data Security Law intend to do? Is China's Personal Information Protection Law comparable to Europe’s GDPR? What are the ramifications of China's plan to become a major global cyberpower in other parts of the world? In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Rogier Creemers, an Assistant Professor in Modern Chinese Studies at Leiden University, discusses China's latest laws and policies in the digital space and China's plans to become a global AI leader.
    Creemers says China’s new Data Security Law is innovative and unique as it potentially covers every piece of data in the country. He explains that personal information protection in China's legal context concerns more about confidentiality rather than privacy. He observes how China's regulations targeting tech platforms share significant similarities with the ones in the EU. As China and Europe come to a convergence in terms of what is happening in the digital space, a previous notorious term, "cyber sovereignty", is gaining popularity.
    Rogier Creemers has a background in Sinology and a PhD in Law. His research focuses on Chinese domestic digital technology policy, as well as China's growing importance in global digital affairs. He is the principal investigator of the NWO Vidi Project "The Smart State: Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Law in China". For the Leiden Asia Centre, he directs a project on China and global cybersecurity, funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is also a co-founder of DigiChina, a joint initiative with Stanford University and New America.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • Music from East Asia has recently been making its way round the world on waves created and mediated by new technologies and global interconnections. This may seem like something very novel, but as Andrew Jones shows in Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s (U Minnesota Press, 2020), popular music from this region – and here specifically varieties of Chinese music – has been riding revolutionary technological and socioeconomic currents for a long time.
    Events during the 1960s, that quintessentially musical decade, prove this, and Jones’ book asks the key questions about genre and periodisation which help us understand whether there was a ‘global 60s’, while also examining the geopolitical currents connecting and dividing Taiwan, China and Hong Kong at this time. The book is thus not only a rich source of insights into stars such as Grace Chan, Teresa Teng and Taiwanese folk troubadour Chen Da, but also offers a whole framework for understanding the shifts in globalisation and communication which continue to shape our soundscape today.
    Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and northeast Asian indigenous groups.
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  • China, Culturally Speaking is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Michael Berry, Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies at UCLA and a world-renowned Chinese literary translator and film scholar. After discussing the inspiring influence his English teacher had on him, the conversation covers topics such as the appeal of literary translation, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, the history and development of Chinese cinema, popular culture in modern China, censorship, and the importance of staying true to one’s values.
    Howard Burton is the founder of the Ideas Roadshow, Ideas on Film and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at howard@ideasroadshow.com.
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  • In 1928 linguist Yuen Ren Chao had reason to celebrate. The Nationalist government had just recognized his system for writing Chinese, Gwoyeu Romatzyh, so he gleefully wrote (using the system) in his diary: "G.R. yii yu jeou yueh 26 ry gong buh le. Hooray!!!" (G.R. was officially announced on September 26. Hooray!!!). He was not the only one excited about the prospect of scraping Chinese characters either. In the global context of phonocentric dominance both the Nationalists and the Communists waged war on Chinese characters, seeking new, scientific, modern, and entirely phonetic writing system.
    Ultimately, however, Chao's three exclamation marks were somewhat in vain. China's "script revolution" ended, and the Chinese Communist Party opted to simplify Chinese characters instead — a process and history deftly traced by Chinese Grammatology: Script Revolution and Literary Modernity, 1916–1958 (Columbia University Press, 2019). In Chinese Grammatology Yurou Zhong explores the history of the script revolution, tracing where it came from, how it changed over time, and how it was finally contained. Sharply written, beautifully constructed and filled with fascinated case studies, this is a real treat for those interested in modern Chinese history and literature, as well as anyone curious about global script reforms in the twentieth century.  
    Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. She works on Manchu language books and is interested in anything with a kesike. She can be reached at sbramaoramos@g.harvard.edu
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  • Brooke McCorkle Okazaki’s Shonen Knife’s Happy Hour, part of the 33 1/3 music history and culture series, is a joyful romp through the career of the internationally successful Japanese trio, Shonen Knife. The book focuses on the intersection of food, gender, and music for these pioneers of what Okazaki calls “josei rock,” in other words, music by women in the Japanese scene that does not fit into heavily produced and marketed categories such as “girls bands” and “idols.” The book combines history, musical and lyrical exegesis, visual analysis, and interviews to create a layered portrait of an influential and important artist. What we learn is that Shonen Knife is in many ways a study in contrasts and deliberately clashing aesthetics, mixing cute and cool, playing with gender roles and consumerism, bending genres, appropriating Orientalist stereotypes, and singing in English. As Okazaki shows, Shonen Knife’s music, videos, and on-stage personality manage to be subversive and, in a word, punk. As the title of chapter 5 indicates, this is a book about “food, music, and transnational flow.”
    Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese and East Asian history in the Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University.
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  • Why is Vietnam's modern history so closely associated with a place that lies only just within the country's borders? What was at stake in the contest for the mountainous Black River region that culminated in the legendary French defeat of 1954? How did the different ethnic groups living around Điện Biên Phủ position themselves, when forced to choose between France and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam? Why did some groups in the region dream of greater autonomy, under a just king, following the pivotal battle? How come women played such a crucial role in this conflict? In what ways has the Vietnamese state deployed "lessons" from Điện Biên Phủ, for nation-building purposes? And how far does what happened there force us to rethink our understandings of notions of territory, and how "ethnic minorities" are constructed and imagined?
    Christian C. Lentz, Associate Professor of Geography at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discusses his ground-breaking book Contested Territory Ðien Biên Phu and the Making of Northwest Vietnam (Yale 2019) with Duncan McCargo, Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. 
    Contested Territory is the winner of the 2021 Harry J. Benda Prize, awarded by the Association for Asian Studies for the best first book in Southeast Asian Studies. 
    Read more here: https://www.asianstudies.org/a...
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  • Sushi and sashimi are by now a global sensation and have become perhaps the best known of Japanese foods—but they are also the most widely misunderstood. Oishii: The History of Sushi (Reaktion Books, 2020) reveals that sushi began as a fermented food with a sour taste, used as a means to preserve fish. This book, the first history of sushi in English, traces sushi’s development from China to Japan and then internationally, and from street food to high-class cuisine. Included are two dozen historical and original recipes that show the diversity of sushi and how to prepare it. Written by an expert on Japanese food history, Oishii is a must read for understanding sushi’s past, its variety and sustainability, and how it became one of the world’s greatest anonymous cuisines.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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  • The first historical study of the development of statistics in Mao-era China, Making It Count: Statistics and Statecraft in the Early People’s Republic of China (Princeton University Press, 2020) explores how Chinese statisticians attempted to know their new nation through numbers. Exploring the different kinds of statistics available and adopted by the PRC, Arunabh Ghosh details how Chinese statisticians moved away from Soviet-inspired exhaustive enumeration, learned about the then-new technology of random sampling through exchanges with Indian statisticians, and how, in the tumult of the Great Leap Forward, they rejected other methods in favor of the ethnographic approach. 
    Not only does this meticulous book take seriously Maoist-era science and technology and revisit the question of whether the shift to Communist rule after 1949 was a rupture — for as far as statistics are concerned there was a good deal of continuity — but, by acknowledging Soviet and Indian influence, Making It Count also revises existing models of Cold War science. Lucidly written and organized, this book offers a fresh perspective on the nature of the early PRC state and a more global history of statistics to readers interested in modern Chinese history, statistics, the 1950s, and global science. 
    Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. She works on Manchu language books and is interested in anything with a kesike. She can be reached at sbramaoramos@g.harvard.edu.
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  • In 1902, the British government concluded a defensive alliance with Japan, a state that had surprised much of the world with its sudden rise to prominence. For the next two decades, the Anglo-Japanese alliance would hold the balance of power in East Asia, shielding Japan as it cemented its regional position, and allowing Britain to concentrate on meeting the German challenge in Europe. Yet it was also a relationship shaped by its contradictions.
    Empire Ascendant: The British World, Race, and the Rise of Japan, 1894-1914 (Oxford UP, 2020) examines how officials and commentators across the British imperial system wrestled with the implications of Japan's unique status as an Asian power in an international order dominated by European colonial empires. On the settlement frontiers of Australasia and North America, white colonial elites formulated their own responses to the growth of Japan's power, charged by the twinned forces of colonial nationalism and racial anxiety, as they designed immigration laws to exclude Japanese migrants, developed autonomous military and naval forces, and pressed Britain to rally behind their vision of a 'white empire'. Yet at the same time, the alliance legitimised Japan's participation in great-power diplomacy, and worked to counteract racist notions of a 'yellow peril'.
    By the late 1900s, Japan stood at the centre of a series of escalating inter-imperial disputes over foreign policy, defence, migration, and ultimately, over the future of the British imperial system itself. This account weaves together studies of diplomacy, strategy, and imperial relations to pose searching questions about how Japan's entry into the 'family of civilised nations' shaped, and was shaped by, ideologies of race.
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  • What is happening to the labor movement in Hong Kong? Why was May Day this year such a muted commemoration? And how have recent political upheavals in Hong Kong affected the work of trade unionists there?
    Bill Taylor, associate professor in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong, discusses the plight of organized labor in Hong Kong with Hong Yu Liu, a PhD student in sociology at the University of Cambridge, who recently spent a month in virtual residency at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • Popular discussions of China’s growth prospects often focus on the success or failure specific industries. They might address the challenges rising wages pose to the export manufacturing sector, or the emergence of the new data-fueled tech sector. But one of the most important determinants of a country’s long-run economic growth is human capital—the education and health of its people. 
    In Toxic Politics: China's Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State (Cambridge UP, 2020), Yanzhong Huang shows how China’s environmental problems have created a health crisis with long-run consequences. It then digs into the reasons why despite all the centralized power China’s leaders showed in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, these same leaders have found it difficult to address the country’s rampant air, water, and soil pollution. The institutional problems in the Chinese system highlighted by this book go far beyond the environmental sphere. This makes the book an excellent way to learn about the challenges China’s leaders face in any domain of policy implementation, whether it be pushing forward domestic economic reforms on their own initiative or implementing international agreements around trade and climate change.
    Yanzhong Huang is a professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University, where he directs the school’s Center for Global Health Studies. He is also a Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations and the founding editor of Global Health Governance: The Scholarly Journal for the New Health Security Paradigm. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
    Recommendation from Professor Huang: The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID, by Lawrence Wright.
    Recommendation from Peter Lorentzen: Scott Rozelle and Natalie Hell’s Invisible China on the failure of China’s educational system to serve the majority of its population.
    Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new digital economy-focused Master's program in Applied Economics. His research examines the political economy of governance and development in China.
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  • In many ways, divorce is a quintessentially personal decision—the choice to leave a marriage that causes harm or feels unfulfilling to the two people involved. But anyone who has gone through a divorce knows the additional public dimensions of breaking up, from intense shame and societal criticism to friends’ and relatives’ unsolicited advice. In Intimate Disconnections: Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan (University of Chicago Press, 2020), Allison Alexy tells the fascinating story of the changing norms surrounding divorce in Japan in the early 2000s, when sudden demographic and social changes made it a newly visible and viable option. Not only will one of three Japanese marriages today end in divorce, but divorces are suddenly much more likely to be initiated by women who cite new standards for intimacy as their motivation. As people across Japan now consider divorcing their spouses, or work to avoid separation, they face complicated questions about the risks and possibilities marriage brings: How can couples be intimate without becoming suffocatingly close? How should they build loving relationships when older models are no longer feasible? What do you do, both legally and socially, when you just can’t take it anymore?

    Relating the intensely personal stories from people experiencing different stages of divorce, Alexy provides a rich ethnography of Japan while also speaking more broadly to contemporary visions of love and marriage during an era in which neoliberal values are prompting wide-ranging transformations in homes across the globe.
    This book is available open access. 
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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  • Tenacious patterns of ethnic and economic inequality persist in the rural, largely minority regions of China's north- and southwest. Such inequality is commonly attributed to geography, access to resources, and recent political developments. In Corporate Conquests: Business, the State, and the Origins of Ethnic Inequality in Southwest China (Stanford University Press, 2020), C. Patterson Giersch provides a desperately-needed challenge to these conventional understandings by tracing the disempowerment of minority communities to the very beginnings of China's modern development. 
    Focusing on the emergence of private and state corporations in Yunnan Province during the late 1800s and early 1900s, the book reveals how entrepreneurs centralized corporate power even as they expanded their businesses throughout the Southwest and into Tibet, Southeast Asia, and eastern China. Bringing wealth and cosmopolitan lifestyles to their hometowns, the merchant-owners also gained greater access to commodities at the expense of the Southwest's many indigenous minority communities. Meanwhile, new concepts of development shaped the creation of state-run corporations, which further concentrated resources in the hands of outsiders. The book reveals how important new ideas and structures of power, now central to the Communist Party's repertoire of rule and oppression, were forged, not along China's east coast, but along the nation's internal borderlands. It is a must-read for anyone wishing to learn about China's unique state capitalism and its contribution to inequality.
    Huiying Chen is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago. She researches on the history of travel in eighteenth-century China. She can be reached at hchen87 AT uic.edu
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  • The Mongols are widely known for one thing: conquest. Through the ages, word "horde" has entered the English lexicon with a negative connotation, conjuring up images of warriors on horseback, sweeping across the plain--a virtual human flood destroying everything in its path and then receding, leaving a wave of devastation and grief.
    Such is often the popular perception of the Mongol empire under Chingghis Khan and his successors, who came to control much of Eurasia in the mid-thirteenth century. In the past few decades, scholarship has started emphasizing other aspects of the three hundred year Mongol project--after all, waves of destruction don't tend to also be referred to by names like "Pax Mongolica," or "the Mongolian Peace."
    In this majestic new study, Marie Favereau (Paris Nanterre University) takes us inside one of the most powerful sources of cross-border integration in world history. For three centuries, the Mongol Empire was no less a force for global development than the Roman Empire. The Horde--ulus Jochi, one of the four divisions of Chingghis Khan's Empire--was the central node in the Eurasian commercial boom of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Its unique political regime--a complex power-sharing arrangement among the khan and the nobility--reswarded skillful administrators and diplomats and fostered an economic order that was mobile, organized, and innovative.
    The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World (Harvard UP, 2021) is an ambitious, accessible, beautifully written portrait of an empire little understood tand too readily dismissed. Challenging conceptions of nomads as peripheral to history, Marie Favereau makes clear that we live in a world inherited from the Mongol moment.
    Christopher S Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
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  • Between 1949 and 1997, Hong Kong transformed from a struggling British colonial outpost into a global financial capital. Made in Hong Kong: Transpacific Networks and a New History of Globalization (Columbia University Press, 2021) delivers a new narrative of this metamorphosis, revealing Hong Kong both as a critical engine in the expansion and remaking of postwar global capitalism and as the linchpin of Sino-U.S. trade since the 1970s.
    In Made in Hong Kong, Peter E. Hamilton explores the role of an overlooked transnational Chinese elite who fled to Hong Kong amid war and revolution. Despite losing material possessions, these industrialists, bankers, academics, and other professionals retained crucial connections to the United States. They used these relationships to enmesh themselves and Hong Kong with the U.S. through commercial ties and higher education. By the 1960s, Hong Kong had become a manufacturing powerhouse supplying American consumers, and by the 1970s it was the world’s largest sender of foreign students to American colleges and universities. Hong Kong’s reorientation toward U.S. international leadership enabled its transplanted Chinese elites to benefit from expanding American influence in Asia and positioned them to act as shepherds to China’s reengagement with global capitalism. After China’s reforms accelerated under Deng Xiaoping, Hong Kong became a crucial node for China’s export-driven development, connecting Chinese labor with the U.S. market.
    Peter E. Hamilton is a historian of China and the World. From fall 2021, he will be Assistant Professor in World History at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. His research has been published in Twentieth-Century China, The International History of Review, The Journal of Historical Sociology, and numerous media outlets.
    Ghassan Moazzin is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. He works on the economic and business history of 19th and 20th century China, with a particular focus on the history of foreign banking, international finance and electricity in modern China. His first book, tentatively titled Banking on the Chinese Frontier: Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China, 1870–1919, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
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