Experiences of Third Sector Governance in Asia: A Political Economy Analysis
Before the industrial revolution, all our participating countries, especially India and China, were in the forefront of economic development ahead of the European states. By the Middle Ages, China and India reached a technological level more advanced than that achieved by Europe before industrial revolution.1 The advancement in these (and other countries in Asia) did not lead to something similar to European economic development. The advancement in productive forces alone does not (and did not) guarantee economic development, it has to be coupled with the existence of a bourgeois, a social class becoming powerful by dint of employment, education or wealth—and not by heredity—capable of coordinating the means of production and of bringing about fundamental structural transformations for innovations and investments.2 Historically, Asia did not have a bourgeois class; the Asian Mode of Production (cf. Karl Marx) had a comprador class capable of exploiting the surplus production and the people but without necessarily owning land or labour. There was only the right to raise taxes, created mainly during the colonial control, without any right to the land (town merchants owned some, but not large enough). Because of the lack of land ownership, the dependent relationship was not feudal, and due to the close-knit village communities (having the control over the land), the slave system could not and did not exist in the area either (Lacoste, 1984).
KeywordsPearl River Delta Slave System Democratic Governance Kinship Primacy Colonial Power
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