Richard Higgott & Nicola Phillips
We are in the midst of a series of economic crises that have altered the economic and
socio-political fortunes of several heretofore rapidly developing states. At a second, more
abstract though no less significant level, the East Asian economic crises and the global contagion
that has emanated from them represent a set-back for the inexorable process of international
economic liberalisation that has come to be known as ‘globalisation’. On the eve of the twentyfirst
century we are experiencing the first serious challenges to the hegemony of neoliberalism as
the dominant form of economic organisation since the end of the Cold War. This resistance is not
uniform, nor is it restricted to one site or group of actors. Moreover, in many instances,
resistance is often to practice more than to principle. Events in Asia and Latin America represent
less the final ideological triumph of liberalism in a post-Cold War era rather than a context for
rethinking the significant aspects of the neoliberal project. The aim of this paper, embedded in a
comparative discussion of the initial economic crises in East Asia with unfolding events in Latin
America, is to make some judgements about the broader implications for the potential
management of the global economic order at the end of the twentieth century.
Keywords: Global liberalisation, crises of globalisation, free market fundamentalism, policy
reform, regional projects.
Address for correspondence:
Department of Politics and International Studies
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.