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H-ASIA Date: August 25, 1995 1)************************************************************** Subj:AAS Conference in Hawaii From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Berger) Dear H-Asia subscribers. I have put together a panel for the Association of Asian Studies Conference in Hawaii in April 1996. Our application has already gone in, but we need to give the organizers the name of a discussant for the panel by 10 of September. If any of you are going to the Conference and are interested in my panel (I have included the abstract of the panel and abstracts of all the papers below) and would like to be a discussant please contact me by private e-mail message on email@example.com Panel-- Panel Organizer: Dr. Mark T. Berger Asian Studies and Development Studies and the Centre for Research in Culture and Communication School of Humanities Murdoch University, Murdoch W.A. Australia Panel Chair: Dr. Ien Ang Centre for Research in Culture and Communication School of Humanities Murdoch University, Murdoch W.A. Australia The Politics of the East-Asian Model: Culture and Capitalism in the Asia-Pacific PANEL ABSTRACT The coming of the Pacific Century has been increasingly proclaimed over the past decade. The dynamic economic growth of East Asia (particularly Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) was already setting the region apart from the rest of the world by the 1970s. By the 1980s the trend was seen to have spread southward to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, while China's coastal provinces had also become integral to the wider regional economic boom. Now the governments of the Philippines, Vietnam and even India are attempting to follow East Asia, while the people of Australia and the US, and a growing number of other countries in the Americas and beyond, are also being exhorted to meet the challenge of the rise of East Asia. The world is clearly in the midst of an important shift in regional and global power relations with immense cultural significance. Against the backdrop of the gradual alteration of an international socio-cultural hierarchy which conferred particular privileges on and assigned particular agency to 'occidentals', the discursive power of the East-Asian model of capitalist development continues to grow. This is the main point of departure for this panel. All of the papers in this panel seek to engage with the dominant visions of the Pacific Century and the debate over the East-Asian model of capitalist development by looking at specific themes and/or particular sites in the Asia-Pacific. PAPER ABSTRACTS 1) Gerard Greenfield Asian Studies School of Humanities Murdoch University, Murdoch W.A. Australia "Fragmented Visions of Asia's Next Tiger: Vietnam in the Pacific Century" After a decade of `renovation', a renewed optimism pervades commentaries on Vietnam. Now its future has become tied to the shift in the locus of global economic power to the Asia-Pacific that signifies the beginning of the so-called `Pacific Century'. Within this vision of Vietnam as `Asia's next tiger' there is an easy convergence of political commitments. The rationalist teleology of modernization in Anglo-American narratives on Vietnam's market transition once more promises economic development, while East Asian triumphalists welcome yet another member to the East Asian club. It is this latter paradigm of the `East Asian model' which now defines the modern imaginings of Vietnam's elites as they remake themselves into an authoritarian regime presiding over capitalist industrialization. In this paper it is argued that the vision articulated by Vietnam's political and economic elites is due as much to their nationalist aspirations and an ongoing nation-building project as it is to the fact that they, more than anyone else, are benefiting from linkages to transnational capital and a resurgent indigenous capitalist class, and the looting of state assets under economic liberalization. However, the growing `social disorder' among the subaltern classes has challenged not only the prospects of such a vision being realized, but the very process by which it is manufactured and maintained. This dominant vision is contested not at the national level but at localized sites. It is places such as the mining areas of Quang Ninh where the roots of fragmentation can be found. 2) Mark T. Berger Asian Studies and Development Studies and the Centre for Research in Culture and Communication School of Humanities Murdoch University, Murdoch W.A. Australia "Yellow Mythologies: The East-Asia Model and Post-Cold War Capitalism" Since the end of the Cold War, the dominant Anglo-American readings of the rise of East Asia have been increasingly challenged by East Asian-based cultural/racial narratives on the triumph of the 'East'. This paper will chart the contours of the new East Asian triumphalism in relation to the continued power of Anglo-American discourses on the Asia-Pacific and in the context of the wider (re)turn to racism in North America and beyond. It will be emphasized that the dominant East Asian visions are directly connected to the efforts of Northeast Asian and Southeast Asian elites to maintain hegemony within, or gain hegemony beyond, existing territorial boundaries and regional demarcations. At the same time, the celebratory perspectives of East Asian elites (and the fears of conservative commentators in the 'West') that the end of the Cold War will produce a new global hegemonic configuration centered on East Asia are directly challenged by the transnational processes of integration and differentiation (globalization) characteristic of the late twentieth century. Furthermore, a critical approach to globalization also undermines the utopian Anglo-American vision of an ever more integrated regional and international system of prosperous sovereign 'free-trading' nation-states, anticipated by supporters of organizations such as the nascent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC). It will be argued that we have entered an era of post-Cold War capitalist dystopia characterized by racialist politics, uneven capitalist development and growing social inequality refracted through globalized processes of cultural integration and fragmentation. 3) Gregory Teal Department of Organizational Behavior National University of Singapore 10 Kent Ridge Crescent Singapore 0511 "The Family, Private Property and the State: The Culturalist Ideology of East Asian Development" A diverse literature has emerged since the 1980s contending that the family and familism in East and Southeast Asia is the key to the region's dynamic economic growth. This paper first presents a critical reflection on the broad outlines of the model as it is applied to the analysis of industrialization, industrial organization, management and work. Second, I examine the empirical weaknesses of the model. Third, I outline the ideological premises and the context behind much of the current popular and intellectual representations of the model. The familism model has a certain attraction, in that it appears to present an alternative to the claims of neo-liberal economics of one universalistic model of capitalist development. It also responds to the inadequacies of a purely economic analysis of East Asian economic dynamism. The familism explanation has an appeal to cultural theory, and it ties in with the current popularity of the notion of the embeddedness of economic action. However, much of this writing (including that along the lines of embeddedness) on the role of the family is essentialist and ahistorical. It often shares with neo-liberal economic models an amnesia with regards to the role of the state and the relations between economic and political actors. It glosses over the ideological framework and context, the role of culture in the legitimation of elite status and action, and the cultural insecurity of economic and intellectual elites in the West due to economic crises and the shift of gravity to the East. 4) Yao Souchou Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Heng Mui Keng Terrace Pasir Panjang, Singapore 0511 "The Romance of Asian Capitalism: Geography, Desire, and the Chinese Traders in Belaga, Sarawak, East Malaysia" The current academic interest in 'Asian business' - particularly what Gordon Redding calls 'The rise of Chinese capitalism' - can be seen as another round of Western othering of the East. The discourse 'imagines' a perfection in the Asian ways of doing business as dramatically different from the Western impersonal corporatized organization. This paper is based on anthropological fieldwork among Chinese traders in the town of Belaga, East Malaysia. It examines the tension and processes of a business world in which family ownership and cultural idioms like guan xi (relationship) and jen qing (sentiment) are still being deployed. Kinship and family, so often argued to be the 'cause' of the success of Chinese business, are shown to be at once an advantage and a burden on these men in the conduct of their personal and economic life. The burden produces a significant 'ideological text' which (over)emphasizes the marginality of the outpost town in the jungle. The geography of Belaga becomes a site of physic transaction which circulates the desire of the Chinese traders: a desire which harbours all the cultural investment and practical imperfections of 'Chinese way of doing business'. _________________________________________________________________ DR. MARK T. BERGER Asian Studies and Development Studies and the Centre for Research in Culture and Communication SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES MURDOCH UNIVERSITY MURDOCH WA 6150 AUSTRALIA fax # 09 310 6285 main phone # 09 360 2482 office # 09 360 2951 _________________________________________________________________ e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Co-Editor's Note: As mentioned, members should respond directly regarding the above post. Leibo ================================================================= To post to H-ASIA simply send your message to H-ASIA@msu.edu For vacations send message to email@example.com on message line type set h-asia nomail upon return simply type set h-asia mail