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The Securitization of Governance

Sims, K., 2017, ‘More growth, less freedom: Charting international development pathways in Lao PDR’, in Brendan Howe (ed.), The Securitization of Governance in Asia, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.

Book Name
The Securitization of Governance in Asia

Book Author
Brendan Howe

Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan, UK.

Published Date
2017

Citation
Sims, K., 2017, ‘More growth, less freedom: Charting international development pathways in Lao PDR’, in Brendan Howe (ed.), The Securitization of Governance in Asia, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.

Abstract

According to macro-scale measures and indicators the principal development narrative for Lao PDR is one of strong economic growth and continued socio-economic progress. However, the true complexity of socio-economic transformations to have occurred in the country are not easily captured by reductive macro-scale indices. In this chapter I problematize development success narratives surrounding Lao PDR by bringing attention to the relationship between persistent socio-economic challenges and the state’s poor track record on human rights and political freedoms. Here, I argue: (1) that privileging economic growth over political freedom is a threat to sustained poverty-alleviation; (2) the common myth that economic liberalisation naturally leads to democratic reform is unlikely to materialise in Lao PDR, and; (3) attempts by foreign donors to depoliticise socio-economic inequalities have bolstered a regime that is responsible for intolerable human rights abuses.