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The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World’s Most Dynamic Region

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  147 ratings  ·  21 reviews
An urgently needed “risk map” of the many dangers that could derail Asia’s growth and stability

Since Marco Polo, the West has waited for the “Asian Century.” Today, the world believes that Century has arrived. Yet from China’s slumping economy to war clouds over the South China Sea and from environmental devastation to demographic crisis, Asia’s future is increasingly unc
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published January 10th 2017 by Yale University Press
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Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I spent a few hours in the airports of Hong Kong and Singapore in the year 2001 on my way to India from San Francisco. I remember then the book stores in both airports prominently displaying volumes on the economic rise of both China and India and how the 21st century would belong to Asia. The optimism in those books was intoxicating if one happened to be Asian. Some authors opined that southern and western India would mostly become middle-class by 2015 and that India as a whole would become a m ...more
This was a good analysis of the dangers facing Asia in the coming years. However, this book went to press before Brexit occurred, before the election of Trump occurred, and before the Italian referendum occurred. Because of this, the examples and comparisons to Europe are not quite accurate. It may be that 2017 will see the end of the EU. This could mean a great deal of revision to this book will be necessary. Also, this book does not deal with populism and that is a key factor in the world toda ...more
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
During the recently election, candidates talked about Asia's rise as a challenge to the United States. Political pundits and politicians frequently depict the governments of China, Singapore, and Hong Kong as hypercompetent, willing and able to respond to governance challenges in a way that the U.S. cannot. Some, such as former Singaporean diplomat Kishore Mahbubani, have already proclaimed the end of the West and the rise of a new Asian Century.

Michael R. Auslin's new book, "The End of the Asia
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Problems and only problems in Asia, the Asian Century is over. That is the premise of this book. It was interesting that the author had lived in Asia for a long time, but when he started to write about the Asian miracle, he ended up writing about its problems instead.

Lack of democracy, low birth rate, historical baggage, weak regional institutions, arm race, and the rise of China, are all problems in Asia. The solution? America will need to contain China by increasing its armed forces in Asia,
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Auslin hypothesis that while from a far the Asian countries of China, India and others look strong enough to over take America and Europe, there are lingering weaknesses that could stop them in their tracks. These include failing economic reforms; demographic issues and ageing populations; Unfinished political revolutions and government corruption; lack of an international community and traditions of treating neighbors as vassals not equals; building for war by competing for island resources.

Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The rise of Asia is almost a cliché in current futures work. But what happens if this assumption is wrong? The development of Asia has been a feature of the past half a century, but that spectacular rise has blinded us to the risks that this progress could first halt, and then reverse. A more nuanced approach to Asia would accept this possibility and embrace it. After all, the future is not pre-ordained and we cannot take anything for granted.

The author outlines the case against Asia. In many wa
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's naive to super-aggregate a continent as large and diverse as Asia, and it's a bigger mistake to cherry pick the many developments on the continent and use it as an argument for your world view or, worse, why everything is going to be okay and no one needs to worry. I am grateful to Auslin for calling out the overly bullish prognostications of what self-proclaimed experts on Asia see in the mid-term future. While there's plenty of potential, overlooking the obvious weaknesses will make for a ...more
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love books like these, in which a writer takes a sliver of the globe and travels around to the various countries therein, discussing their population, government, geography, etc. Robert Kaplan is the master of this, but Auslin's book should not be considered inferior to his (there's even a Kaplan blurb on the front flap). Granted, Auslin's "sliver" is pretty large, but he still does a good job. His focus is set on East Asia, from India to Indonesia and points north (China, Korea, Japan, but no ...more
Randall Harrison
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent book; however, much of the analysis is dated. I wish I had read it when it when first published. The status quo identified in this book has changed so quickly and dramatically that events have overtaken some of the analysis, e.g., US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Trump's folly of multiple meetings with Kim Jong-un, Presient Xi's self-elevation to lifetime rule, the US-China trade war, Japanese-Korean enmity and the cessation of intelligence sharing ...more
Dave Schoettinger
The dust jacket tells us that Michael Auslin was a faculty member at Yale who now labors for the American Enterprise Institute. This may explain the passage in the book that begins with the observation that when the average American thinks about Asia, he thinks about economic growth. This may be true in New Haven or inside the Beltway, but when the Americans I'm familiar with think about Asia, they are more likely to think of Bruce Lee, Apu from the KwikiMart, Tiger Woods, or General Tso. Howeve ...more
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gone through Auslin's recent piece titled The End of the Asian Century; War, Stagnation and the Risks to the world's most Dynamic Region. As Micheal Auslin himself puts it that the book is a "risk map" of Asia; a user's guide to the dangers growing in the world's most dynamic and vibrant region and an analysis of what they mean for Asia, the United States, and the rest of the world.
To put it clear, the book is not alarming or predicting instead it is a "diagnostic tool." Besides, a historian Au
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book focuses on risk assessment based on five issues: economic stagnation, demographics, unfinished political progress, lack of a political community and the threat of war. Auslin frames properly these challenges and try to fill the analytical gap. For many who might seek some kind of answers from writer to address these obstacles before you close the book in awe its better to pay attention that mapping series of risks is as important as answers which requires separate volume or volumes of ...more
Andrew Tollemache
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very interesting book that takes stance that the last 50 years of general Asian political and economic success are heading into a period where more challenges loom than many Westerners appreciate. Austin goes country by country detailing the various challenges facing the key players in the region from Japan's notorious demographic issues to China's stalling economy and developmental projects to Indonesia and India's plans for ascendancy. Austin argues that for all the talk of pivoting to Asia ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Though this book wasn't particularly well written, it was still very interesting. It was very pessimistic concerning the possible future for the Asian continent. The book essentially analyzed the risk and then proposed ways to mitigate and manage the risk. Though I am not convinced that these risks will portend the end of the Asian century, it is enlightening to be aware of the many problems that are facing Asia right now - economically, politically, and militarily.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was a very interesting read, unfortunately published a couple of years ago. As the world moved on and many new events occurred recently, some of the author's ideas are out-dated and need a new insight and analysis.
Hunter Marston
Oct 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Auslin's overview of risk in Asia is a great survey of the region's economic, political, demographic, and societal tensions. It's a very accessible length and tone as well. Recommend to anyone trying to understand Asia right now.
anna b
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Gives greater understanding about the risks and troubles of Asia. The part about ASEAN resonates (I think ASEAN is rather useless.) Do bear in mind that this book is written and published just before Trump became President of USA.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A good survey, but the suggestions of how to maintain and buttress stability in the Indo-Pacific are clearly pre-Trump and therefore out of date at best.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good Analysis but very American focused. The last chapter is problematic, less analytical/
Eddie Choo
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A realist look at the Indo-Pacific region

Auslin provides a holistic view of the developments in the Indo-Pacific. He includes the medium-term view looking at demographics and political institutions - things that are often overlooked in mainstream discourse. The metaphor of map is useful here. I hope more people will read this book and be more even-keel about the challenges that countries face in the Indo/Asia-Pacific.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Let's hope the twenty-first century will be a liberal and democratic Asian Century, changing the course of world history for the benefit of all nations.
Arvind Vijh
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Apr 02, 2017
roger liberty
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May 10, 2017
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Mar 17, 2018
Kris A. Kazmar
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Sep 27, 2019
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Aug 15, 2019
rated it it was ok
Apr 14, 2017
rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2020
kurt stuenkel
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Feb 12, 2019
Cameron Song Sellers
rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2020
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