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The Everyday Political Economy of Southeast Asia


Juanita Elias, Lena Rethel, Johnathan Rigg, Nicholas Henry, Jewellord T. Nem Singh, Alvin A. Camba, Johan Fischer, Andrew Rosser, Anja K. Franck, Adam Tyson, Jonathan Louth, Carol G. S. Tan, John M. Hobson, Leonard Seabrooke
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  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107558830

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About the Authors
  • In this empirically rich collection of essays, a team of leading international scholars explore the way that economic transformation is sustained and challenged by everyday practices across Southeast Asia. Drawing together a body of interdisciplinary scholarship, the authors explore how the emergence of more marketized forms of economic policy-making in Southeast Asia impacts everyday life. The book's twelve chapters address topics such as domestic migration, trade union politics in Myanmar, mining in the Philippines, halal food in Singapore, Islamic finance in Malaysia, education reform in Indonesia, street vending in Malaysia, regional migration between Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia, and Southeast Asian domestic workers in Hong Kong. This collection not only enhances understandings of the everyday political economies at work in specific Southeast Asian sites, but makes a major theoretical contribution to the development of an everyday political economy approach in which perspectives from developing economies and non-Western actors are taken seriously.

    • Develops a novel approach to studying the economic, political and cultural transformation of Southeast Asia
    • Brings together contributions from fourteen leading international scholars
    • Contributes to understandings of and debates over the meaning of the 'everyday' in both Southeast Asian studies and political economy scholarship
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This genuinely multidisciplinary work by an impressive set of authors draws on three intersecting fields of study - International Political Economy (IPE), social anthropology and economic geography - as well as using original fieldwork from Southeast Asia to show how processes of market-building unfold on the ground involving non-elite, even marginalised or vulnerable groups, in a non-western setting. The authors demonstrate convincingly that an everyday approach adds value to more common elite-centred analyses of economic transformation by unmasking tensions, subjectivities and behaviours otherwise hidden from scholarly eyes directed towards elites. This book is highly recommended for students of political economy and of Southeast Asia for its nuanced analysis of non-elite agency, often in unexpected and seemingly non-rational ways, that complicates, perhaps even frustrates, top-down, elite-dominated agendas, plans and programmes.' Helen Nesadurai, Monash University, Malaysia

    'Policy-makers and pundits are seduced by visions of an 'Asian century' ahead. In this context, the authors' carefully crafted volume grounds the discussion of Asia in the global economy by advancing scholarship on the everyday experience of sweeping economic changes. In focusing on Southeast Asia, the contributors to the volume highlight a region that has pioneered political-economic trends that have transformed our world in recent decades: the rise of export oriented economies, huge flows of migrants and remittances, and varying experiences of boom and bust. The interdisciplinary perspectives offered in the component chapters serve both to deepen our understanding of how Southeast Asian political economy plays out on a human scale, and extend important theoretical debates. The volume is a worthy successor to the work of scholars like James Scott and Benedict Kerkvliet who have immersed themselves in the study of the region to teach us about politics everywhere.' Jason Sharman, Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations, University of Cambridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107558830
    • length: 283 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 1 map 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Introduction:
    1. Southeast Asia and everyday political economy Juanita Elias and Lena Rethel
    Part II. From Development to Multiple Modernities:
    2. Policies and negotiated everyday living: a view from the margins of development in Thailand and Vietnam Johnathan Rigg
    3. Everyday agents of change: trade unions in Myanmar Nicholas Henry
    4. Neoliberalism, resource governance and the everyday politics of protest in the Philippines Jewellord T. Nem Singh and Alvin A. Camba
    Part III. Widening and Deepening Markets:
    5. The political economy of Muslim markets in Singapore Johan Fischer
    6. Islamic finance in Malaysia: global ambitions, local realities Lena Rethel
    7. Resisting marketization: everyday actors, courts and education reform in post-New Order Indonesia Andrew Rosser
    Part IV. People, Mobilities and Work:
    8. From formal employment to street vending: Malaysian women's labour force participation over the life course Anja K. Franck
    9. Everyday identities in motion: situating Malaysians within the 'war for talent' Adam Tyson
    10. Regional disputes over the transnationalization of domestic labour: Malaysia's 'maid shortage' and foreign relations with Indonesia and Cambodia Juanita Elias and Jonathan Louth
    11. Everyday agency, resistance and community resources for Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong Carol G. S. Tan
    Part V. Conclusion:
    12. Everyday international political economy meets the everyday political economy of Southeast Asia John M. Hobson, Juanita Elias, Lena Rethel and Leonard Seabrooke.

  • Editors

    Juanita Elias, University of Warwick
    Juanita Elias is Associate Professor in International Political Economy. She joined the University of Warwick in 2013 from Griffith University, Queensland, where she held an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. Her research and teaching interests include gender and international political economy, studies of work and migration, Southeast Asian political economy, with a particular focus on Malaysia, and the role of gender in global economic governance. She has published her work in journals such as International Political Sociology, Asian Studies Review, Economy and Society, Third World Quarterly, Review of International Political Economy, the International Feminist Journal of Politics and The Pacific Review. She is the author of Fashioning Inequality: The Multinational Firm and Gendered Employment in a Globalising World (2004) and editor of The Global Political Economy of The Household in Asia (with Samanthi J Gunawardana, 2013). She is currently working on projects that explore the gender politics of efforts to promote economic competitiveness in Malaysia and the Southeast Asian regional domestic worker migration regime.

    Lena Rethel, University of Warwick
    Lena Rethel is Associate Professor of International Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick. Her research interests are concentrated in the broad areas of the political economy of finance and Southeast Asian politics. Conceptually, this includes the relationship between finance and development, financialisation and the politics of debt, alternative globalisations and the disciplinary parameters and spatial location of contemporary international political economy scholarship. In her research, she has focused on developments in the Southeast Asia region, mainly Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. Her most recent books are Global Governance in Crisis (co-edited with Andre Broome and Liam Clegg, 2015) and The Problem with Banks (with Timothy J. Sinclair, 2012). Currently, she is working on a range of projects that explore the relationship between financial system change and development, trajectories of emerging market debt and the emergence of Islamic finance.


    Juanita Elias, Lena Rethel, Johnathan Rigg, Nicholas Henry, Jewellord T. Nem Singh, Alvin A. Camba, Johan Fischer, Andrew Rosser, Anja K. Franck, Adam Tyson, Jonathan Louth, Carol G. S. Tan, John M. Hobson, Leonard Seabrooke

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