Industrialisation and Society; A Comparison of the Japanese Developmental State and South Africa
This paper argues that it is important to study the trajectory of economic development in different societies comparatively. This need not be a mere contrast of success and failure. A number of writers have looked at South African economic development and contrasted it with East Asia, and Japan in particular using the developmental state model. This is true of Fine and Rustomjee's work on the Mineral/Energy Complex and Nishiura on monopoly capital and konzernen. I attempt to pursue these comparisons, looking as well at Korea and to a lesser extent Taiwan, further. South Africa can be said to have moved significantly from the 1940s in the direction of a developmental state but with certain key constraints, notably the disinterest in export outside of the given, then stable, market in gold, and the absence of a dedicated source of industrial finance of substance. Market orthodoxy never was substantially ousted. There is also a set of constraints we can associate with the failure to escape the limitations imposed by the dominance of the MEC. Impressive growth up to the early 1970s was followed by a severe period of crisis which has never really been successfully resolved even if the obsessive concerns of the government of the day have been abandoned. In addition, while the social basis of accumulation in Japan and Korea allowed for a relatively low level of inequality and high standards of mass welfare, the racial system in South Africa bred inequality right at the top of world rankings and poor human development indicators, problems that are only beginning to be addressed. Developmental success and social and economic equity are very distinctive and differentiable categories of analysis.
關西大學經済論集 67 (4), 447-466, 2018-03-10