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Is It Possible to Repeat the Experience of East Asia? The External Factors of East Asian ‘Miracle’

V. A. Krasilshchikov ()

Outlines of global transformations: politics, economics, law, 2020

Abstract: The paper focuses on the widespread presupposition about a possibility for the developing countries beyond the East Asian region to follow the development path of the newly industrialised countries (NICs) of East and Southeast Asia known as ‘tigers’. The author underlines that the ‘tigers’ success story was the effect of fortune combination of the external and internal factors of fast modernisation of the countries under scrutiny. The subject of the given paper is a set of the external factors of the East Asian ‘miracle’. In the author’s opinion, there were three main external factors of successful development in the East Asian NICs. Firstly, there was a strong influence of cold war in the region. Since the early‑1960s the rivalry between the USSR and USA was here ‘supplemented’ by pretensions of the Maoist China to the role of ‘torch’ for the poor and wretched peoples of Asia. Thus, there was the specific triangle of foreign forces that operated in the region. The US ruling circles conceived that the best way to ‘the containment of communism’ was to create a show case of ‘good capitalism’: to eradicate mass poverty, to build contemporary effective economy, to open the channels of vertical social mobility for youth, and, thereby, to erode the social soil for the Leftist ideas. Secondly, the business and political leaders of the considerable countries understood a necessity to modernise their economies. The local elites, being in vassal dependency on the American protection, were obliged to follow the path of development that corresponded mostly to the interests of US. This circumstance determined, to a big degree, a choice of the outward‑looking industrialisation. Thirdly, the export‑oriented industrialisation in East Asia coincided with profound structural changes in Western economies. The NICs could occupy niches at the internal markets of industrial countries, exporting their manufactured goods to the West. It provided the growth of incomes for further accumulation. The neoconservatism in politics and neoliberalism in economics in the West helped to the East Asian ‘tigers’ to carry out their modernisation. Since the called external factors of East Asian ‘miracle’ do not recently exist in other developing regions, the author comes to conclusion that none of these regions can repeat the success story of the Asian NICs.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.23932/2542-0240-2020-13-3-1

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