Southeast Asia has often served as a bellwether of debates about the impact of global and regional forces on developing countries. Throughout its history powerful external forces have penetrated the region and moulded its role in the global political economy, for centuries as a resource hinterland and mercantile entrepôt and, in the latter part of the twentieth century, as a key site for global export manufacturing. Unlike Northeast Asia’s newly industrialized countries (NICs), whose strong bureaucratic-authoritarian regimes pioneered state-led development, Southeast Asia’s politics featured more typical postcolonial patterns: ethnic and cultural pluralism, patrimonial-clientelist practices of rule, and states with limited bureaucratic capacity. During the Cold War era, these unpromising traits caused many to view the region as a zone of political instability and economic stagnation. By the 1990s, however, Southeast Asia had seemingly converged on a successful liberal development model, and its ongoing economic surge was extolled as a demonstration of the power of global markets to modernize the developing world.
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- The Political Economy of Southeast Asia
- Macmillan Education UK
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- Chapter 4