Decolonization: Economy and Independent Economic Base

Topics: Economy, Economics, Economic growth Pages: 6 (1646 words) Published: September 11, 2011

Decolonization refers to the undoing of colonialism, the dismantlement of the neo-imperial empires which was established prior to World War I throughout Africa and Asia in the years after World War 2. It is a process by which an oppressed country is self-determined enough to demand its own liberation from its oppressors. This occurs when the force of the people to demand their own future, decide the way they live their lives, how they expend their efforts, how they care for themselves, and how they express their need and right for freedom (Lata 36).

The Second World War brought with it a massive wave of decolonization struggles, and many new states. The first half of the twentieth century had a devastating effect on the European colonial powers. The cumulative cost of the First World War, the collapse of the control and stability of the Age of Anxiety, including the devastating effect of the conflict of the Second World War led to the erosion of the colonial control. Countries like France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, and Portugal were losing the struggle to hold on to their colonies, even though the regions still had years of struggle for independence after 1945(Duara 1). Most of the colonial powers collapsed all over the world, eventually leading to the emergence of dozens of new countries. The period between 1945 and 1970 saw the emergence of new countries on the world stage throughout Africa, Asia, the Near East, and the Pacific.

Some countries have been successful in stabilizing economically after decolonization because of sound domestic policy and economic development. These included a high saving rate, developing a market economy and investing in infrastructure and in human development. Countries like South Korea, Singapore and Chile all achieved gigantic gains with an economic growth that was based on a market based approach (GDEI). Some of these governments targeted specific sectors for growth and provision of government help to these sectors. These countries left the task of allocation of resources to the market and thus achieved dramatic economic gains.

These countries also engaged their economies in development through emphasis on export based market capitalist strategies. They also achieved higher per capita income and output by joining the global market and competing for products like automobiles, computers, steel, chemicals, shipbuilding and sporting goods. This success was made possible due to the linking of standardized production technologies with low cost labor (GDEI). The governments in these nations also took a limited role in the regulation of bureaucratic controls. They also provided stable incentive system which ensured that the government bureaucracy helped rather than hinder exports. This they did by avoiding regulating export trade, labor market, and capital market.

For a nation like Chile, what they did was to adopt sweeping reforms in the late 1970s, which created the freest economy in Latin America. This led to the country having a sharp accelerated growth moving the country to the upper- middle-economy income group of nations. Some of these countries established government institutions that support economic activity to foster development. The laws, regulations, and formal organizations like central bank have been key aspects in economic stability. These institutions have been instrumental in creating mechanisms that that protect property rights, organize a sound system of national currency, create a credible system of tax collection, and at the same time create a regulatory system for things like a banking system and stock exchange. Another vital element that these nations have used is the provision of a sound education system which assists to improve human resources. This is because a basic level of education is necessary for any nation to have a productive labor force. Most of these countries invested heavily in education and...

Cited: Anup, Shah. Conflicts in Africa—Introduction. May 12, 2010. April 12, 2011.
Betts, Raymond, F. Decolonization. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Development and the Role of Foreign Aid. May 1997. April 12, 2011.
Duara, Prasenjit. Decolonization: Perspectives from Now and Then. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Global Development and Environmental Institute (GDEI). Patterns of Economic Growth and Development. October 9, 2007. April 12, 2011.
Nosotro, Rit. Decolonization in Latin America and Africa. 2010. April 12, 2011.
Memmi, Albert. Decolonization and the Decolonized. Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press, 2006.
Le Sueur, James, D. The Decolonization Reader. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Lata, Leenco. The Horn of Africa as Common Homeland: The State and Self-Determination. Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University, 200
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