The Limits of Global Liberalisation: Lessons from Asia and Latin America
We are in the midst of a series of economic crises that have altered the economic and socio- political fortunes of several heretofore rapidly developing states. At a second, more abstract though no less significant level, the East Asian economic crises and the global contagion that has emanated from them represent a set-back for the inexorable process of international economic liberalisation that has come to be known as 'globalisation'. On the eve of the twenty- first century we are experiencing the first serious challenges to the hegemony of neoliberalism as the dominant form of economic organisation since the end of the Cold War. This resistance is not uniform, nor is it restricted to one site or group of actors. Moreover, in many instances, resistance is often to practice more than to principle. Events in Asia and Latin America represent less the final ideological triumph of liberalism in a post-Cold War era rather than a context for rethinking the significant aspects of the neoliberal project. The aim of this paper, embedded in a comparative discussion of the initial economic crises in East Asia with unfolding events in Latin America, is to make some judgements about the broader implications for the potential management of the global economic order at the end of the twentieth century.
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