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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

How the state’s role in Japan’s development is overstated

Abstract While the role of state intervention and planning in post-WW2 Japan’s economy was influential, the successful development of the country cannot wholly be attributed to the state. Japan’s developmental success is rather due to a dynamic and effective private sector, the historical culture of Japanese labour and the context of the time. The state, in […]

Imperial Fatigue and the Disruption of African Colonialism during WW1

Abstract Despite British and European colonialism only truly dissipating after World War 2, the Great War did see European colonialism and empire weaken dramatically on the African continent. This is due to a concept called Imperial fatigue, whereby the war cost the European belligerents in terms of the finances needed to maintain Empire and the […]