A New Political Economy of Southeast Asia

Paul Cammack of the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester has a new book review with JCA. He reviews The Political Economy of Southeast Asia: Politics and Uneven Development under Hyperglobalisation edited by Toby Carroll, Shahar Hameiri and Lee Jones and published by Palgrave Macmillan (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2020.1833074).

Cammack notes that this book is promoted as a 4th edition of the “Murdoch School” of political economy, with earlier books coming out in 1997, 2001 and 2006. In fact, though, this is a new collection, organised differently and mainly invoving a new generation of authors.

That said, this volume, Cammack says, identifies with the Murdoch School’s approach that foregrounds “social conflict, primarily between class forces, as central to explaining political and economic life.” The book has four sections: “Theory and Historical Evolution,” “Economic Development and Governance,” “Capital, State and Society,” and “Capital, State and Nature,” with 15 chapters, from a total of 19 authors.

The review believes the “thematic chapters are generally strong, and with the partial exception of those on politics, are appropriately linked to the broad framework deployed.” He concludes that the “volume as a whole provides the best and most current introduction to the region, and many individual chapters could valuably be assigned to comparative courses.”

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