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Escape from Empire: The Developing World's Journey through Heaven and Hell

Author

Listed:
  • Alice H. Amsden

    () (MIT)

Abstract

The American government has been both miracle worker and villain in the developing world. From the end of World War II until the 1980s poor countries, including many in Africa and the Middle East, enjoyed a modicum of economic growth. New industries mushroomed and skilled jobs multiplied, thanks in part to flexible American policies that showed an awareness of the diversity of Third World countries and an appreciation for their long-standing knowledge about how their own economies worked. Then during the Reagan era, American policy changed. The definition of laissez-faire shifted from "Do it your way" to an imperial "Do it our way." Growth in the developing world slowed, income inequalities skyrocketed, and financial crises raged. Only East Asian economies resisted the strict prescriptions of Washington and continued to boom. Why? In Escape from Empire, Alice Amsden argues provocatively that the more freedom a developing country has to determine its own policies, the faster its economy will grow. America's recent inflexibility--as it has single-mindedly imposed the same rules, laws, and institutions on all developing economies under its influence--has been the backdrop to the rise of two new giants, China and India, who have built economic power in their own way. Amsden describes the two eras in America's relationship with the developing world as "Heaven" and "Hell"--a beneficent and politically savvy empire followed by a dictatorial, ideology-driven one. What will the next American empire learn from the failure of the last? Amsden argues convincingly that the world--and the United States--will be far better off if new centers of power are met with sensible policies rather than hard-knuckled ideologies. But, she asks, can it be done?

Suggested Citation

  • Alice H. Amsden, 2007. "Escape from Empire: The Developing World's Journey through Heaven and Hell," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012340, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262012340
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    Cited by:

    1. Rolph van der Hoeven, 2008. "Forum 2008," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 39(6), pages 1091-1099, November.
    2. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:06:y:2015:i:02:n:s179399331550009x is not listed on IDEAS
    3. van der Hoeven, Rolph, 2012. "Development Aid and Employment," WIDER Working Paper Series 107, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Fischer, A.M., 2016. "Aid and the symbiosis of global redistribution and development: Comparative historical lessons from two icons of development studies," ISS Working Papers - General Series 618, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    5. McDougal Topher L, 2009. "The Liberian State of Emergency: What Do Civil War and State-Led Industrialization Have in Common?," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1-28, March.
    6. de Haan, A., 2009. "Will China change international development as we know it?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18718, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. Ali Farazmand, 2012. "Sound Governance: Engaging Citizens through Collaborative Organizations," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 223-241, September.
    8. repec:wsi:serxxx:v:57:y:2012:i:04:n:s0217590812500233 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Ali Farazmand, 2013. "Governance in the Age of Globalization: Challenges and Opportunities for South and Southeast Asia," Public Organization Review, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 349-363, December.
    10. Pietro Masina, 2012. "Vietnam tra Flying Geese e middle-income trap: le sfide della politica industriale per una nuova tigre dell’Asia," Working Papers 1210, c.MET-05 - Centro Interuniversitario di Economia Applicata alle Politiche per L'industria, lo Sviluppo locale e l'Internazionalizzazione.
    11. repec:kap:porgrv:v:17:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11115-017-0398-y is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Carley, Sanya & Lawrence, Sara & Brown, Adrienne & Nourafshan, Andrew & Benami, Elinor, 2011. "Energy-based economic development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 282-295, January.
    13. Hugh Whittaker, 2017. "Premature financialization: a conceptual exploration," Working Papers halshs-01680406, HAL.
    14. repec:taf:cityxx:v:21:y:2017:i:1:p:6-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bateman, Milford & Sinković, Dean & Škare, Marinko, 2012. "The contribution of the microfinance model to Bosnia's post-war reconstruction and development: How to destroy an economy and society without really trying," Working Papers 36, Österreichische Forschungsstiftung für Internationale Entwicklung (ÖFSE) / Austrian Foundation for Development Research.
    16. Henry Wai-Chung Yeung, 2009. "Transnational Corporations, Global Production Networks, and Urban and Regional Development: A Geographer's Perspective on "Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy"," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 197-226.
    17. Rajah Rasiah & Ajit Singh & Dieter Ernst, 2015. "Alice Hoffenberg Amsden: A Consummate Dirigiste on Latecomer Economic Catch-Up," Institutions and Economies (formerly known as International Journal of Institutions and Economies), Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, vol. 7(1), pages 1-8, April.
    18. Kevin P. Gallagher & Amos Irwin, 2014. "Exporting National Champions: China's Outward Foreign Direct Investment Finance in Comparative Perspective," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 22(6), pages 1-21, November.
    19. Behuria, Pritish, 2017. "The political economy of import substitution in the 21st century: the challenge of recapturing the domestic market in Rwanda," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69470, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Arjan de Haan, 2013. "The Social Policies of Emerging Economies: Growth and Welfare in China and India," Working Papers 110, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    21. Hinh T. Dinh & Thomas G. Rawski & Ali Zafar & Lihong Wang & Eleonora Mavroeidi, 2013. "Tales from the Development Frontier : How China and Other Countries Harness Light Manufacturing to Create Jobs and Prosperity," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15763.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    africa; united states; devlopment; policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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