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Theoretical Issues and Oppositional Politics in East and Southeast Asia

Rodan, G. (1995) Theoretical Issues and Oppositional Politics in East and Southeast Asia. Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia.

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Two decades ago political opposition in various parts of East and Southeast Asia was primarily characterised by peasant insurgencies and radical student movements questioning the very basis of the capitalist path to development. Their campaigns were often conducted outside constitutional processes. In the last decade, however, capitalism and industrialisation has firmly taken root in the region and capitalism’s ascendancy is not in question. As a consequence, the nature of political opposition, the forms through which it is conducted, and the actors involved have undergone a transformation. Extra-constitutional challenges are limited and the predominant agendas of political oppositions in the region have decidedly narrowed to more reformist goals. The new reformers are drawn from new social forces generated by the very processes of rapid capitalist industrialisation, including elements from across a range of classes: bourgeois, middle and working classes. To differing extents and by varying means, they are shaping the contests over power in the region’s dynamic societies.

Publication Type: Working Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: Asia Research Centre
Series Name: Working Paper. Asia Research Centre. No. 60
Publisher: Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University
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