The stranger society: the case of economic and social development in the tropics

Murphy, Peter (2015) The stranger society: the case of economic and social development in the tropics. Budhi: A Journal of Culture and Ideas, 19 (2-3). pp. 107-134.

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The economic and social prosperity of nations are usually attributed to functional requirements—such as honest government, effective transport and communication networks, health care and education—and development strategies such as investment in infrastructure. However, beyond a certain point peak economic and social success relies as much on human ingenuity as on capital investment. The article proposes that the world’s most prosperous societies have three recurring characteristics that foster such ingenuity: (1) they are all closely connected to trading portals, (2) they nourish paradoxical belief systems that underscore a proclivity for intellectual abstraction and pattern-based interaction, and (3) they are stranger societies that encourage high levels of interaction between unknown persons.

Item ID: 53268
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2243-7886
Keywords: economic development; creativity; portals; paradoxical thinking; strangers
Additional Information:

This article was first presented as the keynote paper at the Tropics of the Imagination Conference, Cairns Institute, James Cook University, September 2015, and a version of the paper will appear in the Proceedings of that conference.

Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 23:26
FoR Codes: 14 ECONOMICS > 1402 Applied Economics > 140202 Economic Development and Growth @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160805 Social Change @ 60%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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