Impediments to Political, Economic and Social Modernisation in Asia

Asia is regarded as the largest continent in the world. It spans from China in the eastern extreme and India in the west. Despite the fact that upcoming economies hail from this continent, some countries are still struggling in terms of making their social, political and economic systems better and modernised.

Economic modernisation is characterised by several indicators among them high employment rates, high Gross National Income, less dependence on foreign aid and a high Gross Domestic Production (Brach 16). Most Asian countries are still not able to realize these due to various impediments.

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The first one is the issue of small markets. The availability of a ready and big market for any country is vital. The success of any international trade is based on the rate of foreign exchange through exports and imports. Second, there is notable economic over reliance on resources and the tourism sectors.

Diversification of sources of public fund helps in ensuring that economic growth is guaranteed even when a sector fails. Most Asian economies have placed much reliance on tourism and resource exploitation instead of developing other sectors (Brach 17).

The recent global crunch has seen them suffer a lot. The third factor is increased migration of skilled workers and professionals. Most professionals from India and other Asian countries have been lured to work in Europe and America creating a labor vacuum in their own countries. The brain drain effect has in turn denied these countries its best intellectuals and professionals (Brach 17).

Retrograde education system is the fourth impediment to economic modernisation in Asia. The education system in Asia has not changed with time even after the Asian countries became independent. The old education systems which were to suit the colonial masters are still in place today making it difficult for them to embrace technology in a technological dynamic world (Seels and Richey 26-28). The fifth factor is lack of meritocracy.

Achievement based on merit is usually crucial in every private and public institution. However, most Asian countries do not embrace this ideal thereby making the qualified to be left out in major appointments (Sparrow 50). Nepotism has been a factor in securing job opportunities giving rise to poor workmanship.

This impediment has contributed directly to the sixth one which is corruption. Corruption in most Asian countries has been rampant and has manifested itself through many ways such as stealing of public funds, white elephant projects, nepotism and tax evasion by the wealthy. The last impediment that can be identified is climactic factors.

The Far East is characterized by some climatic disasters such as tsunamis and landslides. The effect of these calamities is slower economic growth since most resources are redirected to rescue operations, resettlement missions and sourcing for specialized treatment for the injured. The tsunami that hit Indonesia in 2004 for instance claimed over 200,000 lives and displaced about 140,000 (Rao 31).

Political goodwill positively affects economic growth. Most nations that enjoy stable political systems are economically empowered while the unstable are still poor. Hindrances to the realization of these political advancements in Asia are discussed next.

The first one is exploitation and division under colonial rule. The departure of the colonial masters was a big relief to the colonised but the long term effects of colonisation are still visible today. The divide and rule system of ruling used by the colonisers was deeply inculcated into the natives (Sparrow 45). The effect has been that even today leaders rule on a divided platform which was left by the colonial masters. Second is the presence of authoritarian governments. Democratisation is a key advancement in political institutions.

The authoritarian mode of governance witnessed in most countries in Asia negates the rule of democracy in most decision making processes (Sparrow 46). The grooming of Presidents’ sons to become future leaders is usually demeaning to the existent political systems. The impediment is political fragmentation. Most nations were united before the colonial masters set their feet in their territory.

The departure of these masters was followed by the fragmentation of political units for resources sharing. Inequitable share of these resources has led to emergence of civil wars that have negatively hindered the revolution of such systems. According to Sparrow (45-47) current efforts geared towards unification of such countries have failed.

The social systems play a crucial role in ensuring that citizens co-exist peacefully, have access to social amenities and adopt a particular way of life. However, insecurity and crime is one of the major impediments. Most Asian countries have had to contend with rising cases of insecurity and crime due to deteriorating social systems. Most of the criminals are those who venture into the vice for lack of employment.

The other factor is cultural differences. Whereas the practice of different cultures is allowed in most countries, some conservative cultural beliefs and practices are long overdue. A good example is the Caste system applied in India. According to Imamoglu, the system has led to social discrimination between different castes thereby creating a line of separation within the same race (140-145).

The emergence of China and Japan as economic powers has not been an easy venture. The rapid address of the discussed factors has played a key role in ensuring that they keep pace with most European countries. A similar approach, therefore, can be adopted by the rest for future sustainability.

Works cited

Brach, Julien. What hinders economic development in the East. German Institute of Global and Area Studies. 2008, Pp. 16-17

Imamoglu, Evans O. An interdependence model of human development: Growth and progress in cross-cultural psychology. Lisle, The Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger. 2004, Pp. 140-145

Rao, David P. Disaster management, International Journal of Disaster Reduction. McGraw-Hill Plc. 2006, Pp. 31-32

Seels, Barnard & Richey, Raymond. Understanding instructional technology. Learning Cengage. 1994, Pp. 26-28.

Sparrow, Oliver. “Factors affecting social and economic development.” The Challenge Network. Washington, DC. May 2004, Pp. 45-50


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