Southeast Asian Responses to Globalization: Restructuring Governance and Deepening Democracy

Southeast Asian Responses to Globalization: Restructuring Governance and Deepening Democracy
Date of publication:  2005
Publisher:  ISEAS / NIAS
Number of pages:  382
Code:  BM283


"The book is easy to recommend enthusiastically and without reservation: it is extraordinarily rich in content, well-edited and extensively documented. It would be a particularly useful addition to reading lists in university courses that aim to bring an understanding of globalization and/or Southeast Asia to students" (Pacific Affairs).

"Loh's opening editorial sentence tells us precisely what the book is about. It seeks to examine 'changes in governance systems and practices pertaining to the idea of "democratization" in Southeast Asia intentionally positioned in a "thick" historical context of globalisation' (p. 1). The approach is 'critical political economy' spiced with a particular concern for structure and agency. The overall conclusion offered by Öjendal on the process of democratisation in the region is that it is patchy and varied; 'there is and there isn't'. Indeed, Öjendal tells us that, in any case, the editors and contributors are not really interested in whether or not countries are 'becoming "more" or "less" democratic' (p. 345). Rather they are concerned to examine 'specific changes in governance practices' and only then consider whether these changes might or might not contribute towards democratisation. Contributions to globalisation will undoubtedly continue to hit the bookshelves; this present book does deserve some attention, and with its interesting case-study material at the local level, and the diversity of localisms revealed, should attract an audience. It is soundly and conscientiously edited" (Aseasuk News).

About the publication

It is now apparent, especially in the aftermath of the regional financial crisis of 1997, that globalization has been impacting upon the Southeast Asian economies and societies in new and harrowing ways, a theme of many recent studies. Inadvertently, these studies of globalization have also highlighted that the 1980s and 1990s debate on democratization in the region which focused on the emergence of the middle classes, the roles of new social movements, NGOs and the changing relations between state and civil society might have been overly one-dimensional.
           This volume revisits the theme of democratization via the lenses of globalization, understood economically, politically and culturally. Although globalization increasingly frames the processes of democracy and development, nonetheless, the governments and peoples of Southeast Asia have been able to determine the pace and character even the direction of these processes to a considerable extent. This collection of essays (by some distinguished senior scholars and other equally perceptive younger ones) focuses on this globalizationdemocratization nexus and shows, empirically and analytically, how governance is being restructured and democracy sometimes deepened in this new global era. A historical review introduces the volume while an analytical assessment of the ten case-studies concludes it.
           1st Reprint 2006

Co-publication: ISEAS / NIAS

Institute of Southeast Asian Studies / NIAS Press


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