Modernization Theory's Relationship Between Capitalist Development And Political Development

1596 Words 7 Pages
This essay argues that Asia has contradicted modernisation theory’s relationship between capitalist development and political change because of the positive relationship between Asian states and their middle and upper classes, against the lower working class. Firstly, this essay will explain modernisation theory’s concept of capitalist development and political change and how the middle class is an important political class; referring to examples in Western Europe and Asia. Secondly, this essay discuss the developmental historical differences between Western Europe and Asia, referring to colonialism, the Cold War and Japan’s occupation during WWII. This essay will discuss how these differences have had a negative effect with the relationship …show more content…
Using Gilley’s (2014) concept, this essay argues that Asia and Western Europe have significant historical differences in their regions development that affects why theories, such as modernisation theory, that were constructed in Western Europe do not fit well into Asia. A major difference is the colonialist occupation of Asia by foreign countries. Except for Thailand which had an absolute monarchy regime until 1932 and was not colonised, the rest of Asia had direct foreign involvement and influence from colonialism. Malay and Hong Kong was colonised by the British Empire, Indonesia by the Dutch Empire and the Philippines by the Spanish Empire and the U.S. to mention a few examples. Asian countries went from absolute monarchies and sultans to colonial rulers under foreign empires. These foreign empires then collected resources from their occupied territories and exported them either back to their homeland or to others for …show more content…
As mention previously, Thailand was not colonised by Europeans and had an absolute monarchy in rein until 1932. The 1932 revolution which changed Thailand from an absolute monarchical regime to a constitutional monarchy is an example of political change from economic development in Asia. Pre-1932, Thailand’s monarchy opened trade with European states and allowed foreign investments from Chinese business, improving the economics of Siam – now known as Thailand (Hewison and Brown 1994, 485). Foreign and local working class emerged and challenged the ruling regime and their employers for better working rights and conditions (Hewison and Brown 1994, 488). The successful 1932 revolution saw the removal of the Siam royal family from the political system, and in time, the redistribution of some industries from Western and Chinese merchants to locals (Hewison and Brown 1994, 489-490). This political change was brought on by the rising working class wanting greater liberties and conditions, a factor theorised in modernisation theory (Hewison and Brown 1994, 491). This worker mobilisation soon lost traction, with legislation prohibiting communism and political parties; organised labour was blocked and stigmatised (Hewison and Brown 1994,

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