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Asian Economic Growth Experience

Asmita Kabra

Edited by Sucha Singh Gill , Lakhwinder Singh and Reena Marwah
Routledge, New Delhi, 2010, pp. 461, Rs. 895.00


The past few years have been notable for the rapid and sustained economic growth of Asian economies, India and China and other countries of Southeast Asia. The spectacular growth performance of Asian nations continues unabated even as the advanced industrial economies of the world have grappled with rising unemployment, an unprecedented financial crisis and the spectre of continued recession and depression. During the same period, there has also been growing acceptance of the phenomenon of climate change and an emerging consensus across the world over the need for rapid collective action to slow down the pace of global warming. Economic and Environmental Sustainability of the Asian Region attempts to combine these two events and to examine the interconnections between them. The discourse on sustainable development, especially with reference to climate change, has increasingly begun to factor in the rapid growth of Asian economies, with their backlog of developmental aspirations and a huge population hungry for its share of affluence and global influence. This book brings together a number of papers on diverse issues like international climate change negotiations, ecological sustainability of Green Revolution agriculture, effects of genetically modified (GM) crops, agricultural risk and weather derivatives, groundwater markets and themes in international political economy, with special reference to Asia, and particularly India. The book has emerged from deliberations that occurred during an international conference on the sustainability of Asian economic development, held at the Punjabi University, Patiala under the aegis of the Association of Asia Scholars. The 18 papers in the volume are divided into 6 sections: Issues in sustainability of Asian agriculture; Ecological concerns in theory and practice; Core themes in economic development; Resource management and policy alternatives; Discrimination and socioeconomic equity in development; Peasant distress and sustainability of the cotton economy. The first section with five papers has three country case studies (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) on the sustainability of agriculture in the context of globalization. The first paper is a broadbrush examination of ecological impacts of contract farming and the effects of opening up of the agriculture sector in India to global agribusiness. The second paper looks at changes in food security and food prices in Pakistan after it began complying with WTO agreements. The third paper similarly traces the trajectory of agricultural policies in Bangladesh in the era of globalization, and analyses their impact on food production, food prices and poverty. The fourth paper is an empirical study of ...

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