The Political Economy of Financial Development in Malaysia

From the Asian Crisis to 1MDB

Lena (University of Warwick, UK) Rethel

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Naturwissenschaften, Medizin, Informatik, Technik / Naturwissenschaften allgemein


Current inquiries into the political economy of financial policymaking in Malaysia tend to focus on the high-level drama of crisis politics or simply point to the limited impact of post-crisis financial reforms, given that politico-business relations have remained close. In so doing, pundits ignore a number of intriguing questions: what is the relationship between financial development and financialisation and how has it played out in the Malaysian context? And more generally: how can a country like Malaysia become significantly more financially developed, yet fail to emancipate the financial system from political control; a core element of the financial development discourse?

To unravel the complexities of this puzzle, this book subjects the history and contemporary practices of financial policymaking in Malaysia to scrutiny. It argues that to understand financial development in Malaysia, its progress and reversals, it is important to conceptualise it as a political, rather than a merely technical process. In so doing, the book echoes a more profound concern in the political economy literature, namely the evolving relationship between states and markets, and the supposed retreat or reassertion of the state at a time of increasing (financial) globalisation. The book can generate further insights into the evolving role of the state with regard to broader processes of development and marketisation, as they relate specifically to finance.

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