Politics and government in Pacific Asia can appear very foreign to students of comparative politics with little experience of the region. This chapter aims to provide tools for organizing the study of early Pacific Asian states and a context from which to understand contemporary events, structures and institutions. The chapter is important, especially for those students unfamiliar with the complicated history of the region, because the remainder of the text presumes some knowledge of the traditional practices and structures in the region. Early politics in Pacific Asia provides students and researchers with key examples of state formation and early forms of politics and government. The region exhibits a variety of patterns of state formation, varying structures of governance and differing patterns of political behaviour. This is evident across different geographical areas and over different historical periods. These rich empirical cases are therefore ideal material from which to approach comparative questions of state formation and premodern politics and governance that sit at the heart of comparative politics. Pacific Asia has produced some of the worlds most impressive early states and some of the most sophisticated early systems of politics and state organization. The Chinese bureaucracy, its vast governing structure and the system of scholar-officials that not only governed but also acted as scholars and social elites are some of the most sophisticated examples of governance anywhere in the premodern world.
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- Political traditions in Pacific Asia
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 1