By Xiaoke Zhang (auth.)
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Additional info for The Political Economy of Capital Market Reforms in Southeast Asia
Third, systemic factors cannot account for temporal variations in the pattern of market reforms within Thailand. The Thai government became more 20 The Political Economy of Capital Market Reforms in Southeast Asia decisive in initiating important reform measures and more committed to maintaining these measures in the early 2000s. However, there was little discernible increase in the overall level of economic openness in Thailand during this period as compared to the mid- and late 1990s. The central argument The preceding discussion of the rival causal variables—policy resources, political regimes, technocratic capacities and systemic factors—clearly shows that these variables have limited application to the comparative analysis of cross-country variations in capital market reforms between Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
It is true that incumbent parties often change and manipulate the rules of the game to ensure that they ultimately prevail in electoral contests. But authoritarian elections are more than façades: they constitute the central arena of political conﬂicts that deﬁne the rules, processes and outcomes of national politics and shape the behaviour and strategies of politicians (Karl 1995; Olcott and Ottaway 1999; Schedler 2006). Furthermore, unlike pure autocracies that routinely ban opposition parties or disqualify them from national elections, electoral authoritarian systems regularise political opposition and legitimate organised dissidence.
24 The Political Economy of Capital Market Reforms in Southeast Asia Conducting a triangular rather than a binary comparison by adding an intermediate case, Malaysia, would help assess whether mixed organisational structures lead to mixed market reform approaches and outcomes. Evidence that the two party variables can explain different reform orientations and patterns in other cases would increase conﬁdence in the central proposition and ﬁndings of this book. Finally, this book seeks to develop a single analytical approach that can be applied across the three countries that differ in such macro institutions as territorial structures and political regimes, as made clear in the preceding analysis.