Rewriting the Rules in Asia
Edited by M. Ramesh and Michael Howlett
Chapter 2: Governance Crisis in Asia: Developing a Responsive Regulation
Anil Hira During the post-World War II years, developmental states in East Asia used regulation as an important tool for increasing national competitiveness. In line with increasing success and globalizing pressures, East Asia in the 1990s began to deregulate, signaling what some analysts see as the end of heavy state intervention in the region’s economies. The Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) beginning in 1997 has raised alarm bells about the process of deregulation, leading to reforms now known as ‘reregulation’. This chapter argues first that globalization pressures for reregulation do not require an abandonment of the developmentalist state. Rather, reregulation can be modified in order to maintain the basic formula that led to growth with equity in East Asia. Second, this chapter argues that nonetheless in East Asia greater adjustments are needed to developmentalist-oriented reregulation adjustments to increase the participation of society in order to avoid future regulatory crises. GLOBALIZATION AND PRESSURES FOR DEREGULATION AND THEN REREGULATION Pressures on the East Asian developmental state for first deregulation and now reregulation can be traced in good part to historical changes in the Western conception of regulation. As Karl Polanyi pointed out in his seminal study of the rise of the welfare state, The Great Transformation, all economic markets are embedded in social and political structures (Polanyi 1957). Regulation refers to the rules, procedures, and norms that govern all economic transactions in the broadest sense. Therefore, regulation may be the most underestimated aspect of economic life. In its more common usage, regulation means...
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