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Non-Fiction

A series of essays and articles from my days in academia. Many of these essays were written in response to a question and some of them no longer represent my current views.

Language as a Tool: Analysing the Pirahã

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Language is a tool. Like all tools, it exists to solve a problem. Philosophy is also a tool, aimed at identifying and, hopefully, elucidating...

The Asian and Western Paths of Development

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Kaoru Sugihara (2013) argues that industrialisation can be viewed as two distinctive paths – the Western Path and the Asian Path. The Western Path...
Power Lines Eskom

Eskom’s Implementation of the De Villiers Commission

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Come 1984, Escom (Escom and Eskom will be used interchangeably) was flagging. In response to protests against the electricity monopoly, then president, PW Botha,...

Comparing Developmental Paths in East Asia, Latin America and Africa

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During the 20th century, nations from the regions of East Asia, Latin America and Africa all sought to become globally competitive through industrialisation. Some,...

Understanding Brazil’s Economic Development

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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...

The Role of MITI in Post-WW2 Japan

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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...

Gershenkron and the Positives of Backwardness

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Alexander Gershenkron (1904-1978) argued that backwardness could have a relatively positive economic role in late industrialising nations. Backwardness, in Gershenkron’s sense of the word,...

Indian IT, the Bangalore Cluster and Catching Up

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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...

Rudyard Kipling and Orientalism

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Kipling (1865-1936) is often seen as an Orientalist writer, a branch of arts and literature condemned for its imitation of Eastern life in order...

Public Holidays and Constructed Tradition

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Nationality and culture are typically taken for granted. In actual fact, many of our traditions and aspects of our national identity were intentionally invented....