chapter  9
23 Pages

Conclusion: Reviewing findings and looking outside Asia

A decade has now passed since the start of the Asian economic crisis, but the episode is not forgotten. As the lead example in important textbooks (e.g. Ravenhill 2005), students of IPE continue to study its causes, consequences and implications for the discipline. One widely-used text (O’Brien and Williams 2004) makes numerous references to how US companies capitalized on the Asian crisis for their own benefit, further reinforcing how the literature on the crisis has left a lasting impression of US actors deeply involved in global economic affairs. But are American responses to economic crises in emerging markets really as self-serving and harmful as some critics have suggested? The experiences of Korea and Thailand raise doubts about the perennial claim that US power is applied coherently, strategically and seamlessly across the world by means of US corporations and the US government. Even though foreign leverage rises at times of economic crisis, important distinctions need to be made among the agendas and interests of foreign actors.