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The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis

The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis

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The Asian crisis has sparked a thoroughgoing reappraisal of current international financial norms, the policy prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund, and the adequacy of the existing financial architecture. To draw proper policy conclusions from the crisis, however, it is necessary to understand its domestic politics. In this study, political scientist Stephan Haggard focuses on the most seriously affected countries-Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand-while also drawing lessons from those economies, such as Taiwan, that escaped the most severe distress.

Haggard focuses on the political economy of the crisis, emphasizing the longer-run problems of moral hazard and corruption, the politics of crisis management and the political consequences of severe economic downturn. Looking forward, he focuses on two critical policy issues: changes in social safety nets in the crisis countries and efforts at corporate and financial restructuring.