chapter  1
INTRODUCTION
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This is not simply another book on the Asian crisis. A lot has been written over the last few two years on the economic and political causes of the crisis. Nevertheless, the Asian crisis will provide an important background for the arguments in this book. At the core of the book are papers from a workshop at the International Institute for Asian Studies at Leiden in the Netherlands in January 1998. The workshop thus took place only a few months after the first shock waves of the crisis reached Asia in May 1997.1 The crisis had an important impact on the workshop discussions as it brought the long neglected question of the role of law in what had become termed as Asian capitalism back into play. The idea for the workshop came from my earlier research on law and development in Japan, Singapore, and Indonesia which had been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) from 1994 to 1996. Participants thus consisted of many people that I had spoken to during my research and there was consequently a concentration of papers on the Japanese, Singaporean, and Indonesian developments, four of which (by Baum, Boyd, Carter, and Antons) are published in this volume. Other papers discussed the theoretical and cultural framework of Asian legal development (Yasuda, Ohnesorge) or analysed legal developments in China (Chen) or particular areas of business law in the region (Heath, Blakeney, and Lutz). During 1999 and 2000, for the publication of this book, the conference papers were updated and three further chapters (Wu on labour law in Malaysia, Bishop on APEC, industry policy and the role of law, and Tomasic on the Asian economic crisis and legal institutions in Singapore and Hong Kong) were added to them.