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

By E. Friedman, B. Gilley

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

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

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III It is probably fair to say that India and China had roughly similar prospects for political and economic modernization at the time of their founding. Both states were built upon deep historical antecedents, which ensured that state-builders could appeal to shared history to forge unity. India, with a degree of ethnic and religious diversity more than four times that of China (Fearon 2003), was bound to face graver challenges of cultural pluralism. On the other hand, it inherited a greater basis of political organization as a result of colonialism.

Overstated estimates of Chinese performance in this era won praise from scholars like Schurmann (Schurmann 1968), Skocpol, and Huntington, and advice to India by people like Stavrianos, Segal, and Moore. The common theme of these views was that Indian-style gradualism did not work. Social and economic transformation required an effective bureaucracy and an incorruptible elite. Achieving these was impossible in India in the absence of a violent political transformation. Hence the continued thrusting of advice for radical change upon Indian leaders, not least from Indian intellectuals themselves, that Gandhi had lamented at the turn of the century.

In the sections below, I first consider the historical discourse on the China–India comparison before examining in detail the pre-reform and reform performances of both countries. I then consider the future and what it may bring. I conclude with some thoughts on the nature of the development discourse itself. II Comparisons of China and India are well known to the social sciences and policy circles. The near-simultaneous founding of the two very similar countries, one democratic in 1947 and the other communist in 1949, was seen by world leaders and scholars as an almost perfect natural experiment in proving which developmental approach worked better.

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