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Why Europe Was First

Why Europe Was First

Social Change and Economic Growth in Europe and East Asia 1500-2050

By Erik Ringmar

An engaging and enigmatic historical review of the way in which some countries have become economic successes, leaving others in their wake.

Paperback, 428 Pages

ISBN:9781843312413

March 2007

£14.99, $28.99

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  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents

About This Book

For most of its history Europe was a thoroughly average part of the world: poor, uncouth, technologically and culturally backward. By contrast, China was always far richer, more sophisticated and advanced. Yet it was Europe that first became modern, and by the nineteenth century China was struggling to catch up. This book explains why. Why did Europe succeed and why was China left behind? The answer, as we will see, does not only solve a long-standing historical puzzle, it also provides an explanation of the contemporary success of East Asia, and it shows what is wrong with current theories of development and modernization.

Reviews

'A thought-provoking and well-written book that provides a unique and idiosyncratic contribution to world history.' —Professor John M. Honson, author of ‘The Eastern Origins of Western Civilization’


'Ringmar provides the most concise and powerful explanation that I have read, and in enjoyable and skillfully-wrought prose. This is an intellectual feast.' —Jack A. Goldstone, Hazel Professor, George Mason University

Author Information

Erik Ringmar is a Professor at the National Chiao Tung Unviersity, Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Series

No series for this title.

Table of Contents

The Nature & Origin of Modern Society; The Failure & Success of East Asia; The Self-Transforming Machine; The Discovery of Distance; The Face in the Mirror; Institutions that Reflect; Origins of the Entrepreneurial Outlook; The Age of the Demiurge; Institutions that Get Things Done; A World in Pieces; The Polite Alternative; Institutions that Deal with Conflicts; Institutions & Revolutions; Reflection; Entrepreneurship; Pluralism; Europe & China Compared; Foreign Challenges, Japanese Responses; Japan & China in a Modern World; The New Politics of Modernization; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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