Book review: Bart Gaens, Juha Jokela, Eija Limnell (Eds), The Role of the European Union in Asia, Farnham, Ashgate, 2009. Reviewed by Basil Germond calndar icon image June 1, 2010

Reviewed by: Basil Germond

Considering the ―re-discovery of Asia in the late 1980‘s and its economic and strategic implications for Europe, this edited volume looks into ―the interaction between Europe and Asia, focusing on the European Union‘s (EU) strategic partnerships with China and India‖ (p.1). The volume consists of the editors‘ introduction (highlighting the special features of EU‘s international actorness, the specificities of China and India, as well as the relevance of the regional contexts), followed by 10 chapters (dealing with different aspects of the strategies developed by the EU towards Asia), and a conclusion (summarizing the key determinants of the partnerships with China and India, and offering policy-oriented recommendations). Various topics are considered, viz. the weight of regional realities, the feasibility of a single voice approach, the prevalence of the Member States in formulating common strategies towards Asia, the potential evolution of the current equilibrium between the ―first‖ and the ―third worlds, the balance between economic interests and right-based goals, China‘s and India‘s own views and policies regarding their partnerships with the EU, and China-India relationships. While tackling different issues, the various chapters offer a comprehensive discussion about EU-China-India relationships and allow pinpointing some very interesting and recurrent elements of the current EU‘s strategies towards Asia.

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