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Economic orthodoxy and the East Asian crisis

Jayasuriya, K. and Rosser, A. (2001) Economic orthodoxy and the East Asian crisis. Third World Quarterly, 22 (3). pp. 381-396.

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It is increasingly apparent that the Asian economic crisis has also led to a serious ideological crisis in the West. Before the collapse there was broad agreement among Western orthodox economists that developing countries should pursue a set of economic policies, often referred to as the 'Washington consensus', which included financial sector liberalisation, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, fiscal discipline and trade, exchange rate and foreign investment deregulation. Since the collapse, however, this consensus has broken down. This paper examines the emergence of the new so-called post-Washington consensus, with its emphasis on governance and social capital. The lexicon of the new policy paradigm underlying this new consensus includes civil society, safety nets, and, especially, governance, to be added to the conventional Washington terminology of open markets, deregulation, liberalisation and structural adjustment. Our central thesis is that this new post-Washington consensus is an attempt to place more emphasis on the political and institutional foundations for programmes of structural reform. However, it is also a kind of politics of antipolitics that attempts to insulate economic institutions from the process of political bargaining.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd.
Copyright: 2001 Third World Quarterly
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