S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.29 No.1/2 (2000)
After the Fall: A Response to Dirlik and Jun
- Thornton, William H.
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.29 No.1, pp. 111-121
- The cultural politics of the East Asian “miracle” helped to legitimize the “lean and mean” economism of Western neoliberalism, which in turn became the dominant ideology of post-Cold War globalism. With special reference to the recent work of Arif Dirlik, and a related article by Sang-In Jun, this essay explores the less miraculous elements of East Asian development. These elements went public “after the fall”" — i.e., after the 1997 Crash. Until then the myth of “Asian values” had afforded an effective diversion from political repression and ecological carnage. A negative symbiosis had developed between Western globalism and these tendentious “values.” Only “after the fall” did globalists rush to distinguish Asian “crony capitalism” from the no-less-undemocratic practices that could justly be labeled “crony globalism.” Clearly the neoliberal/Asian values alliance —a crucial pillar of the so-called New World Order —has been damaged. Dirlik and Jun weaken it further by exploding the claim of top-down Asian values to represent anything other than present power structures. In line with Amartya Sen’s “Asian strategy,” and my own adumbration of a “Korean model” as opposed to Singapore-style autocracy, Dirlik invokes the developmental alternative of “bottom-up” Asian values. These, I suggest, offer a potential corrective for the current privileging of economic over political development.
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