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Ref ID: 27946
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Chew, Sing C.
Title: The Southeast Asian connection in the first Eurasian world economy 200 BC–AD 500
Date: 2014
Source: Journal of Globalization Studies
Abstract: Over the course of the world history, Southeast Asia's contribution to the global economy prior to the AD 1500s and especially in the early millennia of the current era (the first century AD), has been much neglected by historians. To recalibrate the interactions of Southeast Asia with other parts of the world economy beyond the historical studies / scholarship written to date (which are mostly of Eurocentric, Sinocentric or Indocentric nature), we need to locate these historical relations within the world history of an evolving world economy (economy of the world). From recent archaeological findings and historical literary accounts, it is obvious that the world system of trade was organized through a range of land and sea trading routes between the Mediterranean and South Asia and eastwards to Southeast Asia and China. The system was determined by the global trade exchanges via land and sea and movement of peoples. The present paper has two objectives. First, it will map out the global system of trading connections that were in operation at least at the dawn (if not earlier) of the first century of the current era (i.e., the first century AD) and that extended across seven regions: Europe/Mediterranean, East Africa, Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia and China/East Asia. Given this set of trade connections extending over seven regions of the world excluding the Americas, that were not connected at this point in time, this economic linkage can be viewed as the ‘first Eurasian world economy’. Secondly, this exercise will highlight Southeast Asia's participation in this world trading system, the importance of its trading goods as commodities for consumption in the first global economy, and that Southeast Asia was a socioeconomic and politically developed area with established polities and not a region of just peripheral trade entrepôts as some have deemed it as such.
Date Created: 4/13/2015
Volume: 5
Number: 1
Page Start: 82
Page End: 109