Discipline and Development

Middle Classes and Prosperity in East Asia and Latin America

Discipline and Development

Revealing that the key to successful economic development in late industrializers rests in the state's capacity to discipline capitalists, this study sheds light on why certain countries (South Korea and Taiwan) have the capacity to discipline capitalists, while others (Mexico and Argentina) find themselves at the receiving end of industrialists' political and economic power. Closer examination of middle classes, especially rural middle classes, reveals the extent to which they achieve sufficient political sway in politics and society, and thus are able to impose such discipline.


"The highest praise that most historical sociologists can give is that a book is in the same league as Barrington Moore's Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. This book may well be in that league with its grand comparative sweep, its subtle attention to methodological issues, and its command of the literature. Postmodern it is not. It offers theory, it grapples with evidence, it comes to strong conclusions that point forward as well as backward." --Leslie Sklair, Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics


Winner of the 2005 Best Book, Political Sociology Section of the American Sociology Association