The Mechanics of Modernity in Europe and East Asia: Institutional Origins of Social Change and Stagnation
Why, from the eighteenth century onwards, did some countries embark on a path of sustained economic growth, while others stagnated? This text looks at the kind of institutions that are required in order for change to take place, and Ringmar concludes that for sustained development to be possible, change must be institutionalized. Taking a global view, Ringmar investigates the implications of his conclusion on issues facing the developing world today.
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Foreigners were banned from Japanese soil between 1639 and 1868 and in China they were strictly controlled by the authorities. In the nineteenth century, however, the Europeans returned with far more ambitious plans and with the troops ...
There is a long and famous list of Chinese inventions which all were made well in advance of similar inventions in Europe.36 Yet the mere existence of this technology never allowed China to develop in the European fashion.
... As Jesuit missionaries and Dutch merchants agreed, China and Japan were at least as rich and powerful as ever Europe itself. ... all three were of course Chinese inventions, long in use by the time the first Europeans arrived.
To a contemporary observer such as John Stuart Mill the reasons for the backwardness of China were quite obvious.6 Although the Chinese once had achieved many great things, they had grown conservative over the years and lost their sense ...
Karl Marx, for his part, reached strikingly similar conclusions.8 As he saw it, China was a feudal society ruled by a despotic emperor and a conservative bureaucratic elite. China was subject to an 'Asiatic mode of production' which ...
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