After the Storm: Asia Pacific Prospects and Canadian Foreign Policy

By Copeland, Daryl | International Journal, Fall 1999 | Go to article overview

After the Storm: Asia Pacific Prospects and Canadian Foreign Policy


Copeland, Daryl, International Journal


For those keen on closer ties between Canada and the countries of the Asia Pacific, the last couple of years have been difficult. In a case of almost unbelievably bad timing, the bloom faded from the Asian boom, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) summit in Vancouver appeared to implode in a cloud of acrimony and pepper spray in 1998, Canada's Year of Asia Pacific. Regional currencies and stock markets sank, and the Bre-X fiasco added to the woes. Since then, the 'Asian contagion,' which the best national and multilateral analysts failed to predict, has been blamed for precipitating crises in Russia and Latin America. The legions of newly minted promoters ran for cover, and the entire Asia-Pacific region has assumed a much lower profile in Canadian foreign policy and media circles. Fashion changed, and the herd galloped off to greener pastures elsewhere.

While many causes have been assigned to Asia's well-advertised demise -- overvalued currencies and equity markets perhaps foremost among them -- globalization has played the most significant role. Among globalization's many and often conflicting characteristics is a preference for global and multilateral trade, finance and investment relations at the expense of more traditional regional and bilateral ties. In some key countries in the Asia Pacific, the impact of globalization has been accelerated and accentuated by the preferred tonic of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- policy conditionalities and neoliberal reforms. Although this was greeted enthusiastically by supporters of an integrated, if asymmetrical, world political economy, the costs imposed upon civil society were very real.

Trade liberalization, structural adjustment, and other IMF-favoured macroeconomic policies tend to concentrate wealth, both within and between states. As globalization continues, neither the gains nor the losses from the process are evenly distributed, especially in the short term. At the same time, the ability of many of the regions governments to cope effectively with the consequences of globalization and the requirements of the international financial institutions is extremely limited. Welfare reductions, programme cuts, interest rate hikes, currency devaluation, privatization, and marketization are politically tough to implement, especially at times of economic weakness.

The imposition of these 'reforms' can contribute to the creation of desperate circumstances which, when combined with population pressure, resource scarcity, and a rush to the bottom in terms of labour standards and workers rights, can give rise to feelings of intense insecurity among those most affected. One has to look no further than contemporary Pakistan or Indonesia. Polarization of income and wealth is leaving an increasing number of citizens economically distressed and politically disenfranchised, while government priorities have moved further away from the welfare vocation of providing for the disadvantaged and more in the direction of providing a suitable 'enabling environment' for and competitive incentives to business. Even in political cultures steeped in the ethics of Buddhist acceptance or Confucian submission, this is a potentially explosive combination.

Globalization, with its inherently deregulating and liberalizing dynamic, expedited both the inflow of foreign capital and the outflow of export products. This, in turn, fuelled Asia's decade of record-breaking expansion and the flight of investment that precipitated the crisis when perceptions suddenly changed. The dazzling transformation of mainstream Western thinking about Asian business practices and political culture is particularly instructive. What was seen as an outstanding example of co-operation among business, labour, and government one day became 'crony capitalism' the next day. Countries that had been regarded as economic miracles and Asian tigers by pundits and financial markets alike came almost overnight to be seen as 'basket cases' and 'alley cats. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

After the Storm: Asia Pacific Prospects and Canadian Foreign Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.