How to analyse the Chinese Famine

The Chinese Famine, despite much research and study, still confuses many. For two decades, the Chinese state covered it up.[1] Even now, researchers must rely on state data.[2] In response to the difficulty of finding trustworthy statistics, many researchers aim to adjust statistics, using a toolset of comparative stats and other factors, while others turn […]

Humanising Development with Sen’s Enhancement of Capability

Development, despites its deceptively simple name, has no singular discourse or meaning. To many, it refers to the growth of a country’s economy – a state-led drive to improve indicators such as Gross National Product (GNP).[1] This view is problematic. It poses development as a nihilistic venture, with no humane ends. In contrast to these […]

What led to the rise in acceptance of the views of Friedrich Hayek and the Chicago School?

An economy is ultimately built on trust. If society trusts the system, then the system will remain. In the latter half of the 20th century, after a Golden Age of economic prosperity, the system of many capitalist countries began to collapse[1]. The economic policy of these nations was termed the ‘Keynesian Consensus’ (KC) – a […]

The Asian and Western Paths of Development

Kaoru Sugihara (2013) argues that industrialisation can be viewed as two distinctive paths – the Western Path and the Asian Path. The Western Path is that seen in European industrialisation, while the Asian Path is that identified for East Asian industrialisers (specifically Japan). This essay will be contrasting the paths in terms of the historical […]

Eskom’s Implementation of the De Villiers Commission

Come 1984, Escom (Escom and Eskom will be used interchangeably) was flagging. In response to protests against the electricity monopoly, then president, PW Botha, appointed the De Villiers Commission of Inquiry to investigate solutions to the institutions problems.[1] This Commission had the fundamental purpose of restructuring the management of Escom to transform the institution into […]

Comparing Developmental Paths in East Asia, Latin America and Africa

During the 20th century, nations from the regions of East Asia, Latin America and Africa all sought to become globally competitive through industrialisation. Some, like the East Asian Tigers, succeeded while others experienced tumultuous results (Latin America) or did not achieve development at all (Africa). This essay will be comparing each region and their general […]

Understanding Brazil’s Economic Development

The study of the Brazilian state’s role in industrialisation has been split into two contested focuses: the ‘Entrepreneurial State’ (ES) and Important Substitution Industrialisation (ISI). Kesidou (2004) argues that the former theory is more important in examining the state and industrialisation in Brazil. This essay is in no way implying that either ES or ISI […]

The Role of MITI in Post-WW2 Japan

The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) had an integral role in Post-WW2 Japanese economic development. While it is inaccurate to have called Japan a planned economy, during this era, it was definitely not a laissez faire economy. MITI had an important role in not only determining the route of Japan’s development, but in […]

Gershenkron and the Positives of Backwardness

Alexander Gershenkron (1904-1978) argued that backwardness could have a relatively positive economic role in late industrialising nations.[1] Backwardness, in Gershenkron’s sense of the word, is a state in which a country’s industry is behind that of other nations. He argued that this would lead to a number of conditions occurring during industrialisation: institutions would change […]

Indian IT, the Bangalore Cluster and Catching Up

India was a latecomer to industrialisation but has since become a major economic power, notably in the ICT-related service industry. This essay will be outlining how the Bangalore IT cluster developed and how this demonstrates that India can catch up with industrialised countries, but through its own methods. A cluster, in this sense, refers to […]