“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

I am the Series Editor for a new list of titles which began to be published by Zed Books in London in April 2011 called ‘Asian Arguments’. The new series follows on from Zed’s very successful ‘African Arguments’ series. The basic idea is to work with various authors, mostly non-academic and based in the Asian region, who have substantial ground level experience of the issues covered.


Asian Arguments is a series of short books (all available as e-books too) about Asia today. Aimed at the growing number of students and general readers who want to know more about the region, these books intend to highlight community involvement from the ground up in issues of the day usually discussed by authors in terms of top down government policy. The aim is to better understand how ordinary Asian citizens are confronting problems such as the environment, democracy and their societies development either with or without government support. The books are scholarly but engaged, substantive as well as topical and written by authors with direct experience of their subject matter.

The Entire Asian Arguments Series…..

Back in 2011 the series kicked of with an excellent book on grassroots and village democracy in China from Dr Kerry Brown of Chatham House – Ballot Box China: Grassroots Democracy in the Final Major One-Party State.

We followed Brown’s book by  publishing Michael Barr’s book on Chinese soft power – Who’s Afraid of China? in September 2011 (now with Chinese and Turkish language editions):

Recently we published Ruth Peason andKyoko Kusakabe’s Thailand’s Hidden Workforce, a fascinating insight into the lives, conditions and motivations of the nearly two million Burmese women migrant workers who drive southern Thailand’s manufacturing economy.

In November we launched the fourth title in the series, Tom Miller’s China Urban Billion, an excellent study of urbanisation in China (and now published in Chinese too)

Chinas urban billion - Taiwan coverOur fifth book from the team behind the great Chinadialogue web site…

China and the Environment2

And the sixth on Tibet


With our seventh title we hit a media goldmine and incredible reviews with Leftover Women

Leftover women cover

And a Chinese language edition now available too…

Our eighth was a controversial expose of the role of the Thai Royal Family in politics that was immediately BANNED in Thailand…



The new and updated version…


Our ninth title is Wade Shepard’s Ghost Cities of China which attracted significant media interest in the subject…



Also now included in the Asian Arguments is my own fully revised and updated North Korea State of Paranoia….


Kerry Brown returned to the series in 2016 with Simone van Nieuwenhuizen to write on China and the New Maoists….

Francis Wade’s book on the persecution of Muslims in Burma and Buddhist extremism, Myanmar’s Enemy Within, couldn’t have been more timely being published in August 2017….

Benjamin Zawacki’s Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the US and China is our second book on Thailand…


and some others in the works:

  • Mongolian Reactions to the Resources Curse
  • The Fate of Kashgar
  • Grassroots protest in Okinawa
  • Popular Protest in the new Burma
  • Hong Kong’s Public Space debate
  • Women in Cambodia

If you have a subject or title you think might fit well into the series and reflect the aims and objectives of Asian Arguments then do let me know – paul@chinarhyming.com

follow Asian Arguments authors on Twitter too at @AsianArguments


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