Approaches Adopted by the Tigers
The Development State and Education Advance in East Asia
Developmental state can be defined as a state in which the political elites aim at rapid economic development and give power and authority to the bureaucracy to plan and implement efficient policies.
Here are the identified factors:
(a) Social-Cultural Approach
1. East Asian States are regarded as “Confucian societies” i.e. traditions of respect for authority, legitimated the centralized state apparatus, and Confucian virtues of diligence brought about a hard-working human resource.
2. The virtues of Confucianism value existing conditions and take things as they were i.e. they maintain the status quo and avoid reforms.
3. Japan can be regarded as a Shintoism state; while Taoism had affected Taiwan; in South Korea, approximately 50 percent of the population believe in Christianity, although Confucianism affects Korean Christianity.
4. In South Korea, the post-war military government took a negative position against Confucianism, in order to modernize the state; Singapore is a multi-cultural society rather than a homogenous Confucian society.
(b) Neo-Classical Approach
1. Regards the role of the state as correcting for “market failure”. It sees education and training as the most efficient basic framework.
2. The World Bank (1993) regards investment in education as a crucial factor used to explain the rapid economic development of the East Asian states, which are called the High Performing Asian Economies.
3. The development of Hong Kong can be explained by laissez faire economic approaches; however, in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, national development was conducted by the state and not by the market.
(C) Statist Approach
In the cases of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, radical social transformations were state-initiated rather than market-driven.
These factors are based on the following points:
i. Economic backwardness and the Late development mechanism
The East Asian development states were late developers, they learned technology and social systems effectively from western early developers which required huge capital and strategic planning to fill the gaps.
ii. Strong involvement of the state in the economic development of the four Asian states
The strong states in the East Asian societies were born of the need for survival and grew on the basis of a nationalist project affirming cultural and political identity in the world system. For example, Japan was largely reformed. As an impoverished and defenseless state without natural resources, post-war Japan mobilized its whole capital collectively in order to survive.
iii. The main actors of the development process were the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in post-war, Japan, the Park Regime in South Korea, KMT in Taiwan, and the PAP in Singapore. These political elites regarded rapid industrialization as a crucial national aim as they thought their state could not survive without strengthening the state through economic development.