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date: 14 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at the English School literature on international society in Asia. The analysis is presented in three phases. First is the pre-encounter period where the focus is on indigenous forms of international society, both the pre-Qin period in China (770–221 B.C.) during which China was a self-contained, international system along the anarchic lines more typical of European history, and the post-Qin tribute system. Second is the encounter period during which the local polities and their international societies confront an expanding Western-global international society and its “standard of civilization”. Third is the post-decolonization period, in which entry into Western-global international society becomes available to nearly everyone. There are two key questions: whether and in what forms Asian states and peoples have formed indigenous international societies; and how Asian states have interacted with Western-global international society. The main focus of this literature is on China and Japan.

Keywords: international society, English School, standard of civilization, China, Japan, India

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