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Chapter Summary

This volume seeks to examine the historical antecedents of the business communities in China and India at a time when they look set to shape the economic future of Asia. The essays presented here aim to serve to highlight the need to put forth comparative perspectives. It focuses on the formation and transformation of network societies throughout history, pointing to the tension that exists between cultural centres and business networks. Here, Cochran shows how political obstacles and exogenous shocks such as wars did not impact on the commercial propensities of Chinese commercial groups. Cochran urges for the focus of research to shift from looking at the state and its regulatory regimes to understanding how brokers and business people were able to function. Business leaders consciously highlight and embrace issues which relate not only to their own class interest but also to the larger interests of other sections of society.

Keywords: business networks; China; Cochran; cultural centres; India



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