Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



A. S. Bhalla. Uneven Development in the Third World: A Study of China and India. London: Macmillan, 1992. xix+353 pp.Hardbound. £47.50.

The book reviews the development experience of two major countries in Asia, India and China. India has followed a democratic liberal course in politics, based on Westminster-style parliamentary practices. However, its economic policy has tilted towards socialism, with government control on the major sectors of the economy. China, on the other hand, has evolved a political culture that is totalitarian in nature; all political power is concentrated in the hands of the Communist Party. Hence, economic decision-making was also centralised until a few years ago when China began a process of economic liberalisation. The book begins by defining what uneven development signifies. Development strategies and their outcomes are used to illustrate the phenomenon of uneven development. The author describes three such strategies, namely, industrialisation, sectoral/regional balance, and economic liberalisation. The effect of these strategies on the growth of output, inequalities in income consumption, and class inequalities in an intra-regional, inter-regional, and rural-urban divide are specifically discussed for both India and China. Other topics of interest that are dealt with in the book include technology policies and access to health and education services. The latter two subjects, in particular, are discussed in terms of class, regional background, and rural-urban bias.

Mir Annice Mahmood

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