Industrialization and Development: A Comparative Analysis

By Ray Kiely | Go to book overview

Chapter Eight

Late industrialization assessed

In drawing on the case studies in the previous two chapters, this chapter addresses the following questions. First, what is the relationship between culture and industrialization? Second, what was the role of the state in promoting industrialization? Third, what social and political factors help to explain the conflicting development experiences of late industrializers? Fourth, how did the world market help to shape the successes and failures of late industrializers? Fifth, what was the relationship between industrialization and social development?

The chapter therefore addresses the key questions of the book-the relationship between agency, development, lateness and industrialization. It also examines the claims of neo-liberals, who imply that successful late industrialization (and development) can be achieved by policies of limited government and an open door policy which embraces the world market.


Culture and industrialization

Some writers have argued that culture is a major factor in explaining the industrial successes in East Asia, and the comparative failures in Brazil (and the rest of Latin America) and India. East Asian societies are said to be based on a Confucian 1 lieritage, which promotes the values of trust, loyalty and the belief in hierarchy and stability (MacFarquhar 1980). These values are said to be more conducive to rapid industrial development than the “Ibero-Catholic” heritage in Latin America, which has encouraged an elite culture of luxury, distrust of commercial activity and a resistance to meritocracy. Thus, according to Lawrence Harrison, Latin America has been dominated by a Hispanic tradition “that is anti-democratic, anti-social, anti-progress, anti-entrepreneurial, and at least among the elite, anti-work” (cited in Fishlow 1989:118). Hinduism in India is also said to have a negative impact on economic growth. It has been claimed that the doctrine of karma (the belief that one's actions in the present life determines status in the next) leads to a fatalism which hinders economic development (Lal 1988).

Such views are, however, based on ahistorical stereotypes. If Confucianism is the primary reason for “economic take-off” in East Asia, then why did this not

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