Electoral Contestation and Political Transformation: Prospects for Progressive Change in Asia
The aftermath of the 2008 Great Recession, which brought many center-economies to the brink of another depression, witnessed an intense showdown between increasingly fragile elected-governments prioritizing the integrity of the financial system, on one hand, and scores of civic groups protesting austerity programs, on the other. But the dramatic explosion of protests against government policies, however, wasn't confined to the streets of New York, Athens, Rome, Paris, and Barcelona. After a decade of robust economic growth and rising inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Global South, the Great Recession proved to be truly global in its breadth and scale, as it shattered equity markets among developing countries, deepened the volatility of basic commodities' prices to the detriment of poorer countries, and steeply raised market uncertainty – reversing decades of hard-fought developmental gains. And for this reason, the world came to question the wisdom of unfettered market economics, anchored by finance-driven capitalism and light regulatory touch.