'Not like the rest': practical and theoretical implications from Southeast Asia's economic development

Abbott, J., 1998. 'Not like the rest': practical and theoretical implications from Southeast Asia's economic development. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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This study seeks to demonstrate that existing theories of the economic development of Southeast Asia, be they liberal (modernisation theories), Marxist (Dependency and Underdevelopment theories) or statist (the Capitalist Developmental State or Japanese model) are meta-narratives that attempt to provide an abstract and totalising concept of development in which there is little account of historical specificity. This tendency towards 'over-generalisation' and model-building is typical of positivist approaches to social science. Drawing inspiration from scholars in International Political Economy and other disciplines that reject positivism, this study proposes that Southeast Asia's economic development is not, as Alice Amsden has suggested, 'Like the Rest', but rather reveals sufficient dissimilarities to invalidate such claims. In doing so, this study argues for the increased recognition of the need to be sensitive to historical-specificity in such studies, in order to fully understand the complexities of both economic development and the relationship between the domestic economy on the one hand, and the regional and global political economy on the other.

Furthermore this thesis advances a second proposition; that while Dependency theories were equally guilty of such abstraction, and exhibited serious logical and theoretical flaws, situations of dependency are nonetheless evident in the political economies of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Such situations of dependency are most visible in the dependence within specific economic sectors upon foreign technology and foreign skills and know how. In order to demonstrate this a detailed cross country study of the automotive sector is presented in chapter six. Revealing such situations of dependency demonstrates that rather than reject Dependency theories entirely, retaining a sub-generalised conception of dependency for the study of economic development and industrialisation provides a useful tool to the social scientist.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Abbott, J.
Date: 1998
ISBN: 9781369314212
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 18 Sep 2020 08:18
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2023 11:11
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40787

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