Contact the organizers: Asian Studies Conference (ASCJ) c/o Institute of Asian Cultural Studies, International Christian University 3-10-2 Osawa, Mitaka-shi, Tokyo 181
The Asian crisis that erupted in 1997 marked a major divide in the recent economic and political history of Southeast Asia, in particular the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand. Not only did the crisis undermine the region's extraordinary rate of economic growth and development but also forced a major realignment of power relationships among political forces and personalities.
By focusing on four Southeast Asian countries, this panel seeks to explain the enormous problems of economic recovery and political transitions that took place in the aftermath of the crisis. Combining historical, economic and socio-political approaches, the paper readers dissect important aspects of this continuing difficult process of recovery and transition, framed in an environment of regional and global economic downturns and antagonistic political contestations.
1) Yuri Sato, Institute of Developing Economies. "Indonesia: Challenges to Democratic Reform"
In Indonesia, the 1997 crisis not only hit hard the society and economy but also led to the collapse of the long-reigning Suharto authoritarian regime. After the fall of the Suharto government, Indonesia faces the challenge of transformation from a highly centralized to a decentralized democratic one. Side by side this problem is the challenge of restructuring the banking and corporate sector while dismantling the old alliance of power and capital. This paper examines how far the post-Suharto Indonesia has succeeded in transforming the political and economic system and identifies the most significant issues to be addressed in constructing and consolidating a democratic regime.
2) Sundaran Annamalai, International Christian University. "Malaysia's Policy Responses to the Asian Crisis: the Banking and Corporate Sectors"
This paper focuses on Malaysia's responses to address the economic slowdown in the aftermath of the crisis. Reflecting the importance of banks and the private corporate sector in Malaysia's economic growth, the paper examines the government's initiative in strengthening the banking sector and the liberalization of the financial sector. In particular, the paper analyzes the government's response in confronting the serious problem of bank non-performing loans and corporate restructuring measures and the overall implications of these for economic recovery in Malaysia.
3) Temario C. Rivera, International Christian University. "Democratization and Civil Society Militancy: Estrada's Ouster and Challenges to the Macapagal Government in the Philippines"
In the aftermath of the Asian crisis, one of the more dramatic
political developments in the region took place in the Philippines
with the ouster of elected incumbent president Estrada through
the initiative of a broad array of civil society organizations
and movements. Shortly after the assumption into power of vice-president
Macapagal, an opposition-led lower class uprising in Manila also
sought to challenge the new presidency and restore to power the
unseated president. This paper seeks to analyze the implications
on the construction and consolidation of democracy of civil society
militancy in a process that typically sidetracks established
formal rules of contestation while falling short of decisive
Since the July 1997 crisis, the Thai state had submitted to the dictate of the IMF economic packages resulting in severe economic contraction. This financial-oriented policy measures had caused devastating impact on real economic sectors, with plant closures, rising unemployment, indebtedness, etc. The state's compliance to IMF measures has aroused widespread resistance among the public and social movements, including certain members of the local bourgeoisie and academics.
This paper looks into various alternative proposals to counter the crisis by local groups and movements as part of a wider counter-hegemonic project, both at the conceptual/theoretical and praxis levels. These responses can be classified into four distinct groups or "movements": the neo-nationalists; the National Restoration Civic Group; and the New Social Democracy Group. A fourth group of grassroots initiative at the praxis level , the "Satcha" (Truth) Saving Group will be closely studied as a concrete alternative at the local level
Discussant: Patricio N. Abinales, Kyoto University