Resurgent Asia

Diversity in Development

Gunnar Myrdal published his magnum opus Asian Drama, in 1968, to conclude that Asia's development prospects were gloomy. Since then, contrary to Myrdal's expectations Asia has been transformed beyond recognition, the development of nations and living standards of people revolutionized. These transformations have been uneven across countries and unequal among people. Yet, Asia's economic progress in this short timespan has been remarkable and almost unprecedented in history.

Resurgent Asia provides an analytical narrative of Asia's incredible economic development, situated in the wider context of historical, political, and social factors. It also provides an economic analysis of underlying factors that assisted Asia's growth and the critical issues in the process of development.

Resurgent Asia studies not only the sub-regions East, Southeast, South, and West Asia, but also the major countries - China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka- which account for more than four-fifths of Asia's population and income.

Table of contents
  1. 1. Historical perspective and initial conditions
    Deepak Nayyar
  2. 2. The rise of Asia
    Deepak Nayyar
  3. 3. The macroeconomics of growth
    Deepak Nayyar
  4. 4. Structural change and economic transformation
    Deepak Nayyar
  5. 5. Openness and industrialization
    Deepak Nayyar
  6. 6. Markets, governments, and politics
    Deepak Nayyar
  7. 7. Unequal outcomes for countries and people
    Deepak Nayyar
  8. 8. Asian development and the world economy
    Deepak Nayyar
  9. 9. Contemplating the future
    Deepak Nayyar
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'In this magisterial work, Deepak Nayyar discusses one of the most important socio-economic phenomena in human history - the (re-)rise of Asia since the 1950s. Based on a deep understanding of history, Nayyar provides a most profound analysis of this momentous event and a most thoughtful contemplation of the future of the region - and the world. His analysis is panoramic in scope but never loses sight of the diversity of the process and is always concerned with the welfare of real people. A singular achievement.' - Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge Author of Kicking Away the Ladder and Economics: The User's Guide

'The decades since the end of the Second World War have seen the remarkable resurgence of the role of Asia in the world economy after centuries of subordination to the West. In this book Deepak Nayyar provides a brilliant overview of this process and its historical antecedents, with a masterly deployment of the relevant statistics and a wealth of sharp analytical insights. The incisive policy perspectives and critiques highlight the lessons that subsequent latecomers to this process can draw. The succinct analysis of development outcomes in Asia, which could not have been imagined fifty years ago when Gunnar Myrdal published Asian Drama, is a fitting tribute to the memory of the great Swedish scholar. It will be a major reference for decades to come.' - Ronald Findlay, Ragnar Nurkse Professor Emeritus of Economics, Columbia University

Deepak Nayyar's Resurgent Asia is an outstanding analysis of the development of the world's most dynamic economic region over the past five decades. It presents an excellent view of diversity of development experiences in different sub-regions and countries, and a social pattern in which massive poverty reduction was accompanied by rising inequality within and among countries. It is a must read for development analysts and practitioners, but also for economic historians of the contemporary world.' - José Antonio Ocampo, Member of the Board of the Central Bank of Colombia, Chair of the United Nations' Committee for Development Policy and Professor (on leave) from Columbia University.

'The last fifty years have constituted a significant historical time-marker for Asia. Countries ceased to be colonies of Europe or Japan and became independent nations. The economic basis of the transformative change since then is admirably analyzed in this book with lucid explanations and persuasive arguments. This would be comprehensible even to non-economists and other social scientists, such as sociologists, contemporary historians, commentators on politics, as well as general interested readers. What makes the book even more perceptive are the passing pointers to parallel concerns emanating from a variety of nationalisms affecting politics and democratic institutions, as also the imprint of change in social habits and cultural articulations.' - Romila Thapar, Professor Emeritus of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University

'In an impressive, wide-ranging and penetrating account, this book records and analyses the Asian Drama of the last fifty years. Deepak Nayyar's ambitious and exciting book examines the remarkable transformation of the continent, from its marginal significance in the global economy to a situation where it accounts for almost a third of world output, and from abysmally low health, education and income levels, to a situation where human development is converging to levels achieved in developed countries and income levels are converging towards the world average. The author points to differences as well as similarities in political conditions and economic performance across countries in Asia, to recognize diversity and analyse success.' - Frances Stewart, Emeritus Professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford

'Deepak Nayyar's non-ideological, no-nonsense account avoids the common pitfalls and draws a comprehensive picture of the continent's economic development. It provides a unified interpretation informed by a broad theoretical perspective, while doing justice to the diversity of the Asian experience.' - Dani Rodrik, Professor of International Political Economy, Harvard University

'In this remarkable book, Deepak Nayyar analyses the economic rise of Asia over the past fifty years, which has restored its historic significance in the world economy to where it was in the mid-nineteenth century. The book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand Asia's past, present and future, which could chart paths to prosperity in other parts of the developing world.' - Justin Yifu Lin, Dean and Professor, Institute of New Structural Economics, Peking University, and former chief economist, the World Bank

'This is a monumental piece of work and a great service to the study of the phenomenal economic transformation of Asia that has unfolded over the last half century or so. Understanding this turn in global economic history is particularly important since the continent had suffered a century or more of no economic growth before the 1950s. It is timely too, in view of the greater salience of Asia’s role in the global economy today, and the likelihood of this becoming even more prominent in the coming decades as the fulcrum of the global economy does make an epochal move back from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, where it was 200 years ago. I would expect this book to serve as a key resource for the study of Asian resurgence for some time to come.' Rakesh Mohan Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University and distinguished fellow at Brookings India. Book review featured in the Economic and Political Weekly journal

'Deepak Nayyar’s book, Resurgent Asia: diversity in development is indeed a master piece. It is a superb and solid contribution to the literature on economic and social development of Asia and its major nations. It provides an incisive, insightful and informative analytical narrative of the phenomenal economic transformation and social development Asia and 14 of its major nations located in four sub-regions, East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia. The book depicts in detail the resurgence of Asia and its major nations against the backdrop of decline and fall during the colonial period, 1820–1950. It conclusively disproves Gunnar Myrdal’s (1968) pessimism documented in Asian Drama.' K. L. Krishna. Book review featured in the Indian Economic Review

'Resurgent Asia is Nayyar’s opportunity to provide this broad overview. Myrdal’s Asian Drama was written from
a European perspective, through a Nordic lens; Nayyar provides a comprehensive analysis of development
spanning the diverse continent over five decades from an Asian perspective. Resurgent Asia provides
a comprehensive narrative and analysis of the Asian development experience, the first since Asian Drama.' Machiko Nissanke & V N Balasubramanyam. Book review featured in The Journal of Development Studies