The Structure and Spirit of Development in Rural Taiwan

  • Ian Skoggard
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


In the last forty years, Taiwan has experienced a remarkable transformation from a poor agrarian society to an affluent industrial nation. This “economic miracle” has defied Western theories about the negative effects of both dependency and tradition on modernization and development. The economy grew in spite of a strong dependency on foreign capital and markets. A tradition-bound and agrarian-based society did not resist change but embraced industrial production, and local actors became agents in their own social transformation. This unexpected success has often been attributed to the leading role of a strong developmental state (Amsden, 1979; Gold, 1986; Wade, 1990). Yet, much of Taiwan's economic dynamism clearly originated from outside the state as well.


East ASIAN Trading Company Labor Pool Workshop Owner Factory Owner 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1998

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  • Ian Skoggard

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