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Piracy in Asian Waters

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Part 1: The Social and Economic Dynamics of Piracy in Early Modern Asia—An Introduction

image of Journal of Early Modern History

Abstract Seafaring, and especially the use of seaborne violence, in the early modern period is strongly associated with European naval activity. In this issue and the next, this perspective is challenged through a sustained interrogation of indigenous piracy in Asian waters. A series of studies highlight the persistence, sophistication, and breathtaking scale of Asian piracy. They show how piracy was deeply ingrained in the social worlds, commercial exchanges, and political contestations across the Asian littoral. Based on these insights, it is argued that the study of piracy reveals the significance of an often-overlooked dimension of Asian maritime enterprise in the early modern period.

Affiliations: 1: University of Macau ; 2: University of British Columbia


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