The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation






The book’s title: The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation

Author: John M. Hobson

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“John Hobson challenges the ethnocentric bias of mainstream accounts of the rise of the West. It is often assumed that since Ancient Greek times Europeans have pioneered their own development, and that the East has been a passive bystander in the story of progressive world history. Hobson argues that there were two processes that enabled the rise of the ‘oriental West’. First, each major developmental turning point in Europe was informed in large part by the assimilation of Eastern inventions (e.g. ideas, technologies and institutions) which through oriental globalisation diffused from the more advanced East across the Eastern-led global economy between 500 and 1800. Second, the construction of European identity after 1453 led to imperialism, through which Europeans appropriated many Eastern resources (land, labour and markets). Hobson’s book thus propels the hitherto marginalised Eastern peoples to the forefront of the story of progress in world history.” – From the book’s back cover.

John M. Hobson is Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield. His key publications are as follows:
  • The Eurocentric Conception of World Politics: Western International Theory, 1760–2010 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • The Eastern Origins of Western Civilisation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); 392pp. 11th reprint in English (2014). Out in Arabic, Greek, Korean, Persian, Turkish, Chinese, Croatian, Spanish and Swedish.
  • Historical Sociology of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); 315pp. Co-edited with Stephen Hobden. Turkish edition (2013).
  • The State and International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000): 258pp. Taiwanese edition, 2003
  • The Wealth of States: a comparative sociology of international economic and political change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997 [Cambridge Studies in International Relations, No. 52]): 338pp
  • States and Economic Development: A comparative historical analysis (Cambridge: Polity, 1995); 295pp. Co-authored with Linda Weiss. Turkish edition 1999, Korean edition 2001, Chinese edition 2009.


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