State Capacity in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan: Coping with Legitimation, Integration and Performance

  • Anthony B. L. Cheung

Abstract

Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are all predominantly Chinese societies with a colonial history.1 During the 1980s and 1990s they all enjoyed rapid economic growth and affluence in the so-called ‘East Asia miracle’ (World Bank, 1995). While Singapore and Taiwan subscribed to a model of state-led development (Low, 1998; Wade, 1990), Hong Kong was exceptional in officially championing ‘positive non-interventionism’, though some critics argue that it adopted a growth model of another kind (Schiffer, 1983). Together with South Korea, these countries became the newly industrialized ‘Four Little Dragons’ of Asia (or the ‘Asian Tigers’ as others called them). And with Japan being a fully developed economy and China emerging as a major growth area after just two decades of economic reforms, in combination all the countries mentioned made up an economic prosperity belt with a shared Confucian cultural tradition, prompting the study of ‘Confucian capitalism’ (for example Redding, 1990), in much the same way as Max Weber saw a link between Protestant ethics and the rise of early European capitalism.

Keywords

Economic Crisis Transportation Income Expense Military Position 

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

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  • Anthony B. L. Cheung

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