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East Asia: A Slippery Floor for the 'Left'

Chang, Dae-Oup (2015) 'East Asia: A Slippery Floor for the 'Left'.' In: Marois, Thomas and Pradella, Lucia, (eds.), Polarising Development: Alternatives to Neoliberalism and the Crisis. London: Pluto Press, pp. 180-191.

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Abstract

Over the last few decades, East Asia has truly become a global factory. It produces more than a third of global manufacturing export value while attracting more direct investment and growing more than twice as fast as other developing regions (and seven times faster than developed economies). Naturally, our understanding of East Asia has also changed. Traditional analyses of East Asian development focused on how western capitalism has been diffused onto East Asian nations, with East Asian countries merely emulating the West. Contrary to this, the more recent literature on the ‘resurgence’ of East Asia tries to put the region back into the history of global development and recognises its dynamic nature. However, its understanding of East Asia as external to the development of global capitalism and characterization of East Asia as too much of a wishful alternative, this literature turns a blind eye to the many problems of East Asian development. This chapter questions the validity of East Asian developmental enthusiasm. It locates East Asia as an integral to global capitalism and East Asian development as full of contradictions. It argues that in order to find democratic alternatives to neoliberal capitalism progressive and pro-democratic academics, activists, and students must not look to fast economic growth, the strong state, or cultural heritages but to the continuous struggles of ordinary labouring population of the global factory

Item Type: Book Chapters
Keywords: East Asia, China, uneven development, alternative
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
ISBN: 9780745334691
Depositing User: Dae-Oup Chang
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2015 15:51
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/19939

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