The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia

Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought

Cemil Aydin

Columbia University Press

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia

Google Preview

Pub Date: June 2007

ISBN: 9780231137782

320 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $60.00

Pub Date: June 2007

ISBN: 9780231510684

320 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $59.99

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia

Visions of World Order in Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian Thought

Cemil Aydin

Columbia University Press

In this rich intellectual history, Cemil Aydin challenges the notion that anti-Westernism in the Muslim world is a political and religious reaction to the liberal and democratic values of the West. Nor is anti-Westernism a natural response to Western imperialism. Instead, by focusing on the agency and achievements of non-Western intellectuals, Aydin demonstrates that modern anti-Western discourse grew out of the legitimacy crisis of a single, Eurocentric global polity in the age of high imperialism.

Aydin compares Ottoman Pan-Islamic and Japanese Pan-Asian visions of world order from the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of World War II. He looks at when the idea of a universal "West" first took root in the minds of Asian intellectuals and reformers and how it became essential in criticizing the West for violating its own "standards of civilization." Aydin also illustrates why these anti-Western visions contributed to the decolonization process and considers their influence on the international relations of both the Ottoman and Japanese Empires during WWI and WWII.

The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia offers a rare, global perspective on how religious tradition and the experience of European colonialism interacted with Muslim and non-Muslim discontent with globalization, the international order, and modernization. Aydin's approach reveals the epistemological limitations of Orientalist knowledge categories, especially the idea of Eastern and Western civilizations, and the way in which these limitations have shaped not only the contradictions and political complicities of anti-Western discourses but also contemporary interpretations of anti-Western trends. In moving beyond essentialist readings of this history, Aydin provides a fresh understanding of the history of contemporary anti-Americanism as well as the ongoing struggle to establish a legitimate and inclusive international society.
This volume is a rich intellectual history revealing the fascinating ways in which Pan-Islamism and Pan-Asianism were intertwined. Matthew Connelly, associate professor of history, Columbia University
Cemil Aydin has written a fascinating book of exceptional scholarly quality. It explores elegantly, with impressive learning, the responses of Japanese and Ottoman civilizations to the West in the period 1880 to 1945. This study in the history of ideas is surprisingly relevant to such current concerns as 'the clash of civilizations' and 'the future of world order.' Richard A. Falk, Albert G. Milbank Professor of International Law and Practice, emeritus, and emeritus professor of politics and international affairs, Princeton University
Cemil Aydin presents a profound analysis of anti-Westernism that transcends simplistic polemics about 'why they hate us' and offers a significant contribution to understanding intercultural relations in the modern era. Combining expertise in Middle Eastern and Asian studies, Aydin joins a clear global perspective with an in-depth historical study. The result is a comprehensive understanding of one of the major themes of modern global affairs. John Voll, professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
[Aydin] has a sure grasp of what is fundamental and what is merely of the moment. Lucian W. Pye, Foreign Affairs
Required reading for anyone researching the history of anti-Western ideology in Asia. Sven Saaler, Pacific Affairs
The Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia should become required reading. H-Diplo
Aydin's book offers a thorough and nuanced portrayal of Pan-Asian and Pan-Islamic thought. Michael Facius, H-Soz-u-Kult
...an impressive work. Michael Farquhar, Journal of Global History
Aydin convincingly demonstrates that the evolution of anti-Westernisms cannot be divorced from non-Western intellectual and political engagement with concepts, ideals and values originating in Western modernity. Journal of Ottoman Studies
Read a profile of Cemil Aydin on The History News Network.

About the Author

Cemil Aydin studied at Boiazici University, Istanbul University, and the University of Tokyo before receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University. He was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies (2002-2004) and is currently an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.