Vicissitudes of East Asia Development: Past, Present, and Future

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Mark S. Williams


Human civilizations throughout time have all grappled with the challenge of molding geographical and environmental conditions for the purpose of developing their respective societies and cultures. Empires of old have imposed their imperial will over subject populations to have them ‘fit’ into a prescribed empirical development paradigm. This is no less true in regions of East Asia when, in the aftermath of World War II, Western nations – led especially by the United States – began to impose political and economic policies that galvanized the ethos of a ‘modern’ development paradigm in the East Asian realm. This situation has led to a clash of societal traditions and cultural values that has not abated for more than seventy years. The purpose of this short study, then, is to examine the impact of the so-called ‘Western development architecture’ in East Asia, and to acknowledge changes that have produced a dichotomy of Western and Eastern development paradigms in the current political-economic situation of the early 21st century.

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Williams, M. (2019). Vicissitudes of East Asia Development: Past, Present, and Future. Humanities Bulletin, 2(1), 241-258. Retrieved from