Managing Modern and traditional Values in Asian Ties

balancing traditional and modern principles

The region is at the heart of a contentious discussion about” Asian values” as a result of Asian countries ‘ economic successes, which are frequently achieved using quite different methods than those of the West. The alleged universality of Eastern economic models, political ideals and cultural practices, and the role of ethnical factors in East Asia’s emergence as an international power have been the main topics of discussion in this discussion.

One unchanging comment to these criticisms has been an East Asians ‘ angry defensiveness. The characterizations of their societies that have emerged in the process are not flattering: they are said to be self- reliant, but apparently universalist, centered on personal relationships and reciprocal obligation more than cold letter of the law – even though the latter is called upon to enforce those values, respectful of hierarchy and authority, and state interventionist, oftentimes into the private space of individuals.

This defensiveness is a natural reaction to the fact that the affected societies are experiencing an unprecedented level of change as a result of globalizing forces. The heart of this discussion is, however, the way in which these societies are trying to create norms of governance and social organization that will be viewed as legitimate by their citizens.

This is being done at the local level, in public forums, in local government, and in their local social and religious institutions. According to my informal poll of respondents in 1994 and 1996, the emphasis that the majority of Asians place on maintaining an organized society even at the expense of some individual freedoms is a good idea.

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