State Formation And Economic Development

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Twentieth century East and Southeast Asia showed remarkable achievements in terms of state formation and economic development. Many countries in Latin America failed to create developmental structures that allowed them to develop economically. Meanwhile, their Asian counterparts, the “East Asian Tigers”, (Vu,2010) were able to establish structures that have allowed them to become world powers as is especially evident in the case of China and Japan and establish stability within states. The relative success of state formation in this region is important because it helps to understand what factors lead to the creation of stable developmental states with the ability to compete worldwide.
Even within the region of East and Southeast Asia, it is evident that state formation took on different patterns. In Paths to Development in Asia, Tuong Vu examines the development of states such South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and Japan, through his analysis he argues that historical processes and relationships among elites and the masses play a dominant role in the success of state formation. In Vu’s argument the interactions within the elite and among the elite and masses are the most prominent factors in determining the outcome of state formation. However, he does recognize that historical past such as a history of colonization and other conditional factors played some role in state formation. In Korea state formation developed in conditions of extreme polarization, which created a
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