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Model, Myth, or Miracle?: Reassessing the Role of Governments in the East Asian Experience
By Beatrice Weder
UNU Press; ISBN 92-808-1030-8; 176 pages; US$9.95, paper
Was the East Asian economic miracle of the 1980s and early 1990s a myth? Were the national development strategies once hailed as exemplary models of cooperation between the private and public sectors actually insidious examples of "crony capitalism" and government mismanagement?
"No," says economist Beatrice Weder in this insightful reassessment of the "East Asian Experience." She argues that the recent financial crisis does not invalidate the reality of the region's previous economic development miracle and concomitant reduction in poverty and improvement of living conditions.
Weder presents an analytical overview of the role that regional governments played in promoting growth and of the institutional framework within which the private sector was able to develop. She offers solid data and empirical measures of government performance to clarify the lessons that can be learned from both the economic miracle and subsequent financial crisis.
In the book's final chapter, Weder looks particularly at the causes and consequences of corruption, and concludes there is no evidence to support the contention that corruption was the cause the East Asian financial crisis.
International Security Management and the United Nations
Is the proper role of the United Nations in helping to maintain global security that of "peace builder," limited to supporting the efforts of regional organizations, or "peace enforcer," intervening directly in a conflict? This book, edited by Muthiah Alagappa and Takashi Inoguchi, presents 21 papers that explore a broad range of issues relating to the security management expectations of UN Member States and the UN's unique normative and operational capacities.
The editors synthesize the issues by concluding that a dual focus on both building and enforcing peace is needed. They suggest that the UN can be most effective by delegating responsibilities to regional alliances, NGOs, and development organizations since these bodies are more sensitive to local cultural nuances and have a vested interest in maintaining or restoring regional stability.
United Nations Peace-keeping Operations: A Guide to Japanese Policies
Edited by L. William Heinrich, Jr., Akiho Shibata, and Yoshihide Soeya
This volume, edited by L. William Heinrich, Jr., Akiho Shibata, and Yoshihide Soeya, is the second in a series of "national guides" analysing individual states' visions of and participation (or non-participation) in UN peace-keeping operations (PKOs). Japan, otherwise among the UN's most enthusiastic supporters, has only recently and reluctantly become a PKO participant. The domestically contentious issue of whether and how Japan should cooperate in collective security efforts goes to the heart of Japan's "no war" constitution.
Part one of this book offers a historical perspective of the national policy debates and analyses the related decision-making process. Part two examines the legal aspects of Japanese policy, particularly the Peace-keeping Law, and considers relevant financial and budgetary factors. Part three discusses the military role played by the Self-Defense Forces in four recent UN peace operations and the civilian component of Japanese PKO assistance.
The Democratic Process and the Market: Challenges of the Transition
This decade's swift transformation from socialism to democratic market economies in Eastern and Central Europe was not part of an organic process of development. Rather, the transition grew from a "socio-political implosion" triggered by dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent collapse of national socialist regimes.
Part one of this book, edited by Hungarian economics professor Mihály Simai, deals with general problems of systemic change as evidenced in Eastern and Central Europe and provides an overview of the interrelations between political change and economic transformation.
The Democratic Process and the Market is a valuable contribution to the global dialogue on democracy in transition.
Global Financial Turmoil and Reform: A United Nations Perspective
The Asian financial and economic crisis that began in July 1997 triggered intense debate within the international community about how national capacities for coping with international financial volatility could be strengthened, and what types of institutional mechanisms might reduce the risks posed by globalization of financial markets.
In July 1998, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) gathered UN economists and experts from other international organizations, the private sector, and academia to discuss these issues and the broad economic and political implications of the financial crisis.
Region-specific discussions focusing on Asia, Latin America, and Africa are followed by sections on "Economies in Transition," "Direct Investment," and "Financial Markets."
This book, edited by Barry Herman of the UN DESA, offers timely expert information and policy insights on critical global issues.