Asia is not “one,” and there is no singular idea of Asia. Asia is of multiple (although not always mutually exclusive) conceptions, some drawing on material forces, such as economic growth, interdependence, and physical power, and others having ideational foundations, such as civilizational linkages and normative aspirations. Some of these varied conceptions of Asia have shaped in meaningful ways the destinies of its states and peoples. Moreover, they have underpinned different forms of regionalism, which, in turn, has ensured that Asia, despite its fuzziness and incoherence, has remained a durable, if essentially contested, notion.

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