Contents: Introduction. 1. Revisiting the power-shift to Asia/Samir Kumar Das. 2. Measuring Asia’s globalization/Kriengsak Chareonwongsak. 3. Towards the articulation of an Asian identity: the highlighting of links between the Indian and Chinese philosophy and religion/Ithamar Theodor. 4. Navigating the Asian transformation/Pratnashree Basu. 5. Afghanistan’s importance in the Asian century/Wadir Safi. 6. Central Asia as a crucial sub-region of the Asia-Pacific: prospects and challenges/Elnara Bainazarova. 7. Connecting India to the new silk road through Kyrgyzstan/Y. Emre Gurbuz. 8. Social life of development programme among the Ninja Miners in Zaamar, Mongolia/Munkh-Erdene Gantulga. 9. The middle east in the Asian century: economically more integrated with Asia; politically torn between east and west/Nicola Nasser. 10. Peace icons of Asia: analysing Aung San Suu Kyi’s role in promoting peace and democracy in Myanmar/Amrita Dey. 11. Evolution of education in Singapore/Shrimanti Ghosal and Sanjana Chatterjee. 12. Changing the development model: towards green growth in Vietnam/Nguyen Xuan Trung. 13. Engaging Asia: the Australian predicament/Subhadeep Bhattacharya.
Asia as an idea has been constantly evolving and changing over the years making the conception of an integrated Asia hard to define. Asia is rather a conglomeration of diverse regions and the idea of an Asian ‘culture’ and a set of Asian ‘values’ as a singularly defined coherent alternative does not exist. Similarly, Asia does not adhere to a particular notion of an ideal state.
The ‘Asian Century’ was essentially formulated on the basis of developments in certain parts of Asia-the remarkable economic growth in East and South East Asia; the emerging significance of China and India in global affairs and the rapid positive demographic trends as compared to those in the rest of the world. Asia’s success story, however, has overlooked failed states, struggling economies, dysfunctional infrastructures and disparities in the distribution of resources.
Large parts of Asia continue to be mired in issues of sectarian violence, governance, legitimacy, dignity and security of human life, racism and intolerance-all in a stark contrast to the expectations of Asia as an emerging model. Based on the projections of the Asian performance in various spheres, the papers in this volume engage with a number of issues like pan-Asianism, reform movements across Asia, routes and roads, infrastructure and technological development, leadership and legitimacy, governance and institutions and the rise of China.