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Geopolitics and Asia’s Little Divergence: State Building in China and Japan After 1850

Author

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  • KOYAMA, Mark
  • MORIGUCHI, Chiaki
  • SNG, Tuan-Hwee

Abstract

We provide a new framework to account for the diverging paths of political development in China and Japan during the late nineteenth century. The arrival of Western powers not only brought opportunities to adopt new technologies, but also fundamentally threatened the sovereignty of both countries. These threats and opportunities produce an unambiguous impetus toward centralization and modernization for small states, but place conflicting demands on larger states. We use our theory to study why China, which had been centralized for much of its history, experienced gradual disintegration upon the Western arrival, and how Japan rapidly unified and modernized.

Suggested Citation

  • KOYAMA, Mark & MORIGUCHI, Chiaki & SNG, Tuan-Hwee, 2017. "Geopolitics and Asia’s Little Divergence: State Building in China and Japan After 1850," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-51, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hiasdp:hias-e-51
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    File URL: http://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/rs/bitstream/10086/28688/1/070_hiasDP-E-51.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Fabio Padovano & Yvon Rocaboy, 2017. "How defense shapes the institutional organization of states," Economics Working Paper from Condorcet Center for political Economy at CREM-CNRS 2017-06-ccr, Condorcet Center for political Economy.

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    Keywords

    China; Japan; Geopolitics; State Capacity; Political Fragmentation; Political Centralization; Economic Modernization;

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