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Keywords:

  • ASEAN;
  • capitalism;
  • competitiveness;
  • neoliberalism;
  • IMF;
  • OECD;
  • World Bank

Abstract:  The starting point for this paper is the observation that a reshaping of global capitalism is underway, centred on the rise of dynamic centres of accumulation in Asia. It is argued that a critical understanding of this process (supported without reservation by such organizations as the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank) requires a questioning of the imagined link between “capitalism” and the “West”, and a recognition that the international organizations are committed to a universal project aimed at empowering capital and promoting competitiveness on a global scale. A case study is provided of the recently adopted plan for the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community as a “single market and productive space” by 2015. The regional context in which it is placed is contrasted with that of the European Union, and the need for further study of varieties of capitalism in emerging economies is noted.