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Authoritarian Success Stories? Evaluating Amartya Sen’s “Development as Freedom” in the Unfree World

Authoritarian Success Stories? Evaluating Amartya Sen’s “Development as Freedom” in the Unfree World

iStock photo by imaginima (2021) By: Claire Chen Amartya Sen’s “Development as Freedom” examines a provocative question posed by authoritarian governments and their sympathizers: does economic development truly necessitate liberal political values, especially in today’s developing world? Such a question becomes especially interesting in the context of Asia’s rapidly industrializing economies. While it is true that some wealthy nations have stable democratic governments, most notably post-WWII Japan, the relationship between prosperity and liberalism is not always clear-cut. South Korea and Taiwan are relatively affluent democracies today, but their authoritarian stints, which both lasted until 1987, could be compatible with economic…
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