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Social Evolution, Economic Development and Culture
What it Means to Take Japan Seriously
Ronald Dore's enquiring mind, rigorous reasoning and comparative methodology have greatly enhanced our understanding of Japan. His insights from Japan have been deployed to generate fresh perspectives on Britain and other industrialized and developing countries. This careful selection of writings reflects his underlying concern with what light the study of Japan sheds on theoretical generalizations about how societies evolve and how economies work.
Social Evolution, Economic Development and Culture brings together Ronald Dore's key writings for the first time, making his work accessible across a wide range of social science disciplines. It produces a distinctive perspective with four interlinking themes - technology-driven social evolution, late development, culture and polemics. These are highly topical in the current context of rapid technological innovation and socio-economic change, globalization and accompanying policy choices.
The book provides a rich empirical and conceptual source for those interested in technology, socio-economic evolution and culture, and the ways in which they interact. Researchers, teachers and students in the fields of evolutionary economics, economic development, comparative education, institutional economics, political economy and economic and classical sociology (as well as Japanese studies) will find this volume invaluable reading.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
`. . . I can recommend no better reading material. . . than the writings of Ronald Dore presented in this fine volume from Edward Elgar.' -- James Reveley, Australian Economic History Review `This is not a mere selection of the writing of one of the most versatile Japan specialists, but a book which provides abridged versions of some of Ronald Dore's most representative writings in the various fields which he has been covering over several decades: development, education, political economy, sociology, etc . . . Dore's writing is eminently readable, enlightening and compassionate. It is therefore a book which is to be recommended to anybody with a broad interest in the issues confronting contemporary society.' -- Reinhard Drifte, Asian Affairs `By focusing on writings that represent Dore's theoretical assumptions and arguments within the tradition of comparative sociology, the editors have created a very neat "one-stop-shopping" opportunity for us to review the underlying intellectual themes and coherence that unify his work . . . Those who have long been his admirers will read this collection with renewed respect and anticipate with relish his next salvo or carefully argued analysis. Those new to the field will find this book a useful introduction to the rich cornucopia of Dore's writings on Japan.' -- Thomas P. Rohlen, Journal of Japanese Studies `The image that emerges from this [collection] is one of an impressive scholar who is theoretically sophisticated, well read in a large variety of topics, extremely honest and acutely aware of social problems both in highly industrialized and in developing countries. [Dore's] insights . . . are always challenging and are still at the forefront of scholarship on Japan . . . I contend that his writings provide the most important contribution to the understanding of contemporary Japan in a Western language. This selection of writings reveals the immense importance of Dore's work not only for the analysis of Japanese society, economy and culture, but also for the development of a highly sophisticated multidisciplinary comparative approach to economic development and industrialization. I would suggest it is required reading for all interested in Japan, and also for those who are reflecting on more complex theoretical frameworks in the analysis of current problems and on ways to solve them.' -- Bernard Bernier, Pacific Affairs