An Inquiry into the Development of Nations
Gunnar Myrdal published his magnum opus, Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations, in 1968. He was deeply pessimistic about development prospects in Asia. The fifty years since then have witnessed a remarkable social and economic transformation in Asia - even if it has been uneven across countries and unequal between people - that would have been difficult to imagine, let alone predict at the time. Asian Transformations: An Inquiry into the Development of Nations analyses the fascinating story of economic development in Asia spanning half a century.
Asian Transformations sets the stage by discussing the contribution of Gunnar Myrdal to the debate on development then and now and providing a long-term historical perspective on Asia in the world. It then uses cross-country thematic studies on governments, economic openness, agricultural transformation, industrialization, macroeconomics, poverty and inequality, education and health, employment and unemployment, institutions, and nationalisms to analyse processes of change while recognizing the diversity in paths and outcomes. Specific country studies on China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, and sub-region studies on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, further highlight turning points in economic performance and demonstrate factors underlying success or failure.
Including in-depth studies by eminent economists and social scientists, Asian Transformations comprehensively examines the phenomenal changes that are transforming economies in Asia and shifting the balance of economic power in the world and reflects on the future prospects for this continent over the next twenty-five years. It is a cohesive and multi-disciplinary study of a rapidly changing economic landscape, and makes an important contribution to understanding the complexities and processes of development from different perspectives.
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The book offers balanced assessments of numerous underlying factors and conditions that have jointly given rise to diversity in Asia. It presents a persuasive, and more nuanced, story of how fast-moving transformations in multiple dimensions have been played out in Asia, with observed diversity among the subregions of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Machiko Nissanke. Book review featured in The Developing Economies.
Policy Brief | Resurgent Asia