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The Asian Development Miracle: A Critical Review of the Francophone Scientific Literature

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The East Asian development success has challenged the very notion of the “Third World” and the concept of economic take off and social change. With a few exceptions, the Francophone scientific literature has not much contributed to the analysis of this unique phenomenon in world history. It has neither much participated in the rather controversial debate dealing with the universal conditions of industrialization versus the specific contextualization of the industrial catching up paths of the East Asian emerging economies. There has been little reflection in France and other Francophone countries whether the East Asian experiences would confirm or not the Western interpretation of 19th-20th century economic history. More recently, the rapid emergence of China and India has been somewhat considered but rarely compared, and has not been yet perceived as a possible challenge to traditional industrialization and globalization paradigms.

Affiliations: 1: School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada, and Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland;, Email:


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