6. Asian Concepts of Development

Convenors: Aki Tonami, NIAS, University of Copenhagen and Anders Riel Müller, DIIS & Roskilde University

The concept of growth and/or development remains a challenge for the world and particularly Asian countries. Since the Asian financial crisis in 1997 and especially after the global financial crisis of 2007-08, various Asian countries have announced their own definition of development/growth as their vision for the future. For instance, Thailand advocates the philosophy of Sufficiency Economy and implements particular agricultural programs based on the philosophy. When Bhutan announced the assessment of gross national happiness (GNH) instead of gross national product (GDP) it drew global attention. Japan announced the concept of Low Carbon Society in an attempt to meet the target of CO2 reduction. South Korea’s then-President Lee introduced the idea of Green Growth in the country’s national development plan, which was then taken by other countries in Asia and beyond. China also introduced the concept of Low Carbon Development as it tries to achieve both economic growth and environmental conservation.

This panel intends to broaden our understanding of various concepts of development in Asia. The panel invites contributions that analyze these concepts as well as other concepts or philosophies that have possibly influenced the formation of the concepts. In what way are the Asian concepts of development related to/influenced each other? What are the characteristics in common? What kind of trend can we observe in Asian countries’ vision for the future? What regimes, institutions or projects are required to realize these concepts?