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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lessons of Global Neo-liberalism? The East Asian Economic Crisis Reconsidered

  • Author(s): Smith, David A;
  • et al.

This paper begins with some comments on the way globalization has been linked to neo-liberal ideology. Then, the discussion shifts to East Asian (and specifically South Korean) political economy. Premised on an appreciation of the distinctiveness of the East Asia situation and economic trajectory, I will move into discussion of three key points about economic governance/organization: 1) foreign direct investment or, the historical lack thereof, during the decades of growth, 2) continuing technological dependency and obstacles to innovation, and 3) the emergence of East Asian business structures and networks and the rise of flexible production. While my cursory examination of these themes is suggestive rather than conclusive, it leads to some tentative conclusions that question the wisdom of the type of neo-liberal "reforms" that agencies like the IMF and some regional political leaders are foisting on East Asia.

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