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Pollution Control in East Asia: Lessons from the Newly Industrializing Economies

Pollution Control in East Asia: Lessons from the Newly Industrializing Economies

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Why do some economies seem to excel at effective pollution management while others seem to miss the mark when responding to deteriorating urban environments?

These studies of pollution management in East Asia's newly industrialized economies (NIEs) include successful government responses in Singapore and Taiwan, qualified results in China and Indonesia, and much more limited success in Thailand and Malaysia. In each example, Michael Rock considers the starting point of the economy as it began its path toward industrialization in the post World War II period. He discusses the relevant historical and political context, the pressures placed on the political system from domestic and international sources, and the influence of ongoing trends in East Asia for democratization and economic liberalization.

Rock's text makes it clear that each economy found unique, innovative ways to link environmental protection to its own political and economic institutions. Thus, while public pressure from both home andabroad gave strong impetus to successful programs in Taiwan, the development of policy in Singapore involved limited public review and a centralized, government-led process. The result of Rock's research is a book that provides important lessons without being reductionist. The book offers insights to apply to pollution management in a diverse range of developing nations, but it avoids attempts for precise prescriptions, or universally appealing, normative answers.