A Political Economy Approach
Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Heungchong Kim
Chapter 2: Towards Asia’s Century
2. Towards Asia’s century1 Guy Sorman Western techniques and Western cultural habits have defined the global world we live in. Such a world is based on quantitative growth and individual freedom. This Western agenda has been the dominating norm since the sixteenth century: it has brought colonization and the destruction of ancient civilizations. It has also introduced everywhere more prosperity, more individual freedom and gender equality. Like it or not, this Western-dominated history of the world cannot be rewritten: it can only be assessed, with its positive and negative impacts. Today, globalization still means Westernization, in all walks of life. In economics, the main engine of growth remains located in the West, the US and Europe. When this engine stalls, which happened to be the case in 2007–09, the global economy declines. LESSON OF THE CRISIS: THE ABSENCE OF DECOUPLING Before the 2007–09 crisis, there had been much hope in Asia that East and West would follow different and more independent economic paths in future. This has not been the case. Business cycles did converge again; a credit crunch born in the West did impact upon the East, and the decline in global trade directly reduced Asian exports. Regretfully, export-driven Asian economies proved to be as dependent as ever on the global demand fuelled by the West: such an export dependency, at least in the first stage of the 2007–09 crisis, has impacted upon Asia more than the West. The absence of decoupling, however, has been rather...
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