Beyond the Asian Crisis
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Beyond the Asian Crisis

Pathways to Sustainable Growth

Edited by Anis Chowdhury and Iyanatul Islam

As Southeast and Northeast Asia recover from the Asian crisis and return to a state of growth, the authors of this book assess the lessons to be learned from the crisis to achieve sustainable development in the future. While the importance of each factor contributing to the crisis varies from country to country, their collective experience has created unprecedented turmoil in current thinking on development policy.
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Chapter 2: Beyond the crisis: development strategies in Asia

Amartya Kumar Sen


Amartya Kumar Sen1 ASIA AND THE GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF DEVELOPMENT Asia, I would argue, is a great source of understanding and knowledge about the process of development in general. A fuller analysis of Asia’s achievements and problems is a good way of assessing the demands and challenges of development itself. Asia has had a variety of experiences, including extremely successful ones, in different fields. The overall result has been a reformulation not only of the answers to standard questions about development, but also of the questions themselves. Indeed, even the study of the problems and difficulties that the region has encountered can be a rich source of understanding of the demands of the process of development. Development strategies for Asia do, of course, have a specially local relevance, but ultimately they also have extensive global interest. The subject, thus, has both regional and universal significance. ASSESSMENT OF THE PAST FOR BUILDING THE FUTURE Let me begin with a couple of brief remarks on methodology. First, even if our primary concern is with the problems and adversities that the region currently faces, it would be appropriate to begin with an attempt to understand the special achievements – indeed the very great achievements – of the region and the general strategies that have made that success possible. We may have to look for new departures, but we also have reason to protect and build on the richness and creativity on which the region’s accomplishments have been based. I shall argue that,...

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