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Challenging triumphalism and convergence: the limits of global liberalization in Asia and Latin America



The economic crises in 1997-9 in Asia, Brazil and elsewhere represent collectively the first post-Cold War 'crisis of globalization', and a significant set-back for the process of international economic liberalization. Contrary to some arguments, the crises do not represent the final ideological triumph of liberalism in a post-Cold War era. Rather they must be seen as a further spur to rethinking significant aspects of the neoliberal project. A comparative analysis of Asia and Latin America in this context demonstrates that while trade liberalization and a broad neoliberal economic strategy are unlikely to be abandoned, there is strong evidence that the tide of capital account liberalization has turned, and that emerging 'sites of resistance' are becoming salient factors in the political equation in the relationships of both regions to the wider global economy. Asian and Latin American responses to the crisis of globalization refute notions of convergence, on which many recent conceptions of the global political economy have rested, and point to the emergence of a genuine contestation of policy ideas that will have significant implications for the future management of the global economic order

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