Asia's Giants: Comparing China and India by E. Friedman, B. Gilley

By E. Friedman, B. Gilley

This edited quantity reconsiders the normal knowledge that argues that the comparative functionality of China has been better to that of India, bringing jointly new paradigms for comparing international locations by way of economics, social coverage, politics, and international relations. Essays express that if no longer outright fallacious, traditional knowledge has confirmed to be overly simplified. The ebook brings out the complexity and richness of the India-China comparability.

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Extra resources for Asia's Giants: Comparing China and India

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He attributed this to the fact that “Indians believe in their system of government” so that “if democracy meant a slower pace of reform, so be it. ”7 Development includes expanding choices and personal autonomy. Health, income, and education are part of that, but only part. Thus, appeals for Chinese-style authoritarianism may obscure the trade-offs that are involved. Ogden laments that Indian governments failed to address “social problems” such as by “mandating a national language” as in China, and notes that China’s coercive population policies are “a good example of how a more authoritarian government may at times be more capable of carrying out a policy that is better for society as a whole”(Ogden 2002, 369, 371).

As such, it gives lie to the claim that the choice of the two countries is an orderly and efficient China with constrained freedoms and a chaotic and corrupt India with wide freedoms. India provides as good or better “political order” as China and yet has provided freedoms as well, while enhancing material welfare almost as fast as China. In the reform era, then, as in the pre-reform era, China raced its way from one gust of wind to another, while India continued its slow, straight course. China showed better material welfare gains, but India continued its democratic miracle and backed that up with superior governance in most fields.

In comparative perspective, China has many factors working in favor of a smooth democratization: national cohesion among the Han peoples who make up 91 percent of the population, an emergent rule of law and civil society, an institutionalized state. But other factors work against it: secessionist regions in Tibet and Xinjiang and Taiwan, little experience with elections, yawning income inequalities, and corruption. A middle-range prediction would be then that China’s passage to democracy will be turbulent but ultimately successful (Gilley 2004a).

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