More growth, less freedom? charting development pathways in Lao PDR

Sims, K. (2018) More growth, less freedom? charting development pathways in Lao PDR. In: Howe, Brendan, (ed.) National Security, Statecentricity, and Governance in East Asia. Security, Development and Human Rights in East Asia . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 127-149.

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According to macro-scale measures and indicators the principal development narrative for Lao PDR is one of strong economic growth and continued socio-economic progress. However, the true complexity of socio-economic transformations to have occurred in the country are not easily captured by reductive macro-scale indices. In this chapter I problematize development success narratives surrounding Lao PDR by bringing attention to the relationship between persistent socio-economic challenges and the state’s poor track record on human rights and political freedoms. Here, I argue: (1) that privileging economic growth over political freedom is a threat to sustained poverty-alleviation; (2) the common myth that economic liberalization naturally leads to democratic reform is unlikely to materialize in Lao PDR, and; (3) attempts by foreign donors to depoliticize socio-economic inequalities have bolstered a regime that is responsible for intolerable human rights abuses.

Item ID: 51447
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-319-58974-9
Keywords: Laos, human rights, development, poverty
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2017 01:24
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4408 Political science > 440807 Government and politics of Asia and the Pacific @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441004 Social change @ 50%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9402 Government and Politics > 940201 Civics and Citizenship @ 50%
94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940401 Civil Justice @ 50%
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