“Asia” currently resides at the margins of the academic study of world politics, a.k.a. international relations (IR). This is in contrast to the historical centrality of Asia to the evolution of world politics. It is also in contrast to the centrality of Asian affairs in present-day world politics. IR produces international knowledge. Its claims to universality render IR both parochial and limited,1 but such parochialism is not inconsequential for world politics. That IR has limited tools in making sense of “Asia” means that policy-makers are disadvantaged in making sense of the biggest continent on Earth; some of the most populous countries in the world; and some of the most dynamic economies- not to mention civilisations, cultures, religions, dynamics of tradition and change- that have helped to make the world what it is.