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Asian values in capitalist development revisited

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Chapter Summary

Recent economic troubles in many of the East Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and Japan to a lesser extent have once again triggered a debate on the role of “Asian values” in regional economic development. The main purpose of this chapter is to critically review existing arguments on the issue of Asian values, especially discussions on their role in East Asian economic transformation, and to clarify the issue in order better to understand the experience of East Asian economic development. In contrast to the developmental state model that emphasizes political- economic factors, the cultural approach interprets the East Asian experience of economic success in terms of Confucian values as the primary impetus for economic development. These values are deemed to be equivalent in their functions to the Protestant ethic in the earlier stages of Western capitalist development.

Keywords: Asian values; East Asian economic development; regional economic development; Western capitalist development



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