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Crisis and Recovery in East Asia: The Limits of Capitalist Development

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[This paper analyses the economic recovery of the five countries most directly and severely affected by the Asian crisis of 1997–8: South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Most economists credit this recovery in large part to the implementation of neoliberal economic policies. Indeed, mainstream economists have been so successful in promoting their view of regional developments that the media now virtually identifies neoliberal reforms with recovery. New commitments by East Asian governments to further privatise and deregulate economic activity are thus automatically described as beneficial, independent of any analysis of their social or economic impact., This paper analyses the economic recovery of the five countries most directly and severely affected by the Asian crisis of 1997–8: South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Most economists credit this recovery in large part to the implementation of neoliberal economic policies. Indeed, mainstream economists have been so successful in promoting their view of regional developments that the media now virtually identifies neoliberal reforms with recovery. New commitments by East Asian governments to further privatise and deregulate economic activity are thus automatically described as beneficial, independent of any analysis of their social or economic impact.]

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