Seminar Series

For over thirty 30 years now, a project has been underway to construct market societies globally. Taking root in the underdeveloped world in the form of World Bank and International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes, the project to build market societies in a particular image was given new impetus with the fall of the Soviet Union and the Asian Crisis.

However, since its inception, the project has been hotly contested and has undergone important changes. Challenges from citizens and problems with implementation and development results have seen the project to constitute market societies evolve significantly. New modes of participation and consultation have been woven into the efforts of multilateral organisations and those that receive their funds. Novel risk mitigation partnerships have been formed between the likes of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), companies and their financiers. Specific regulatory institutions are promoted to govern public-private partnerships in water and energy.

In essence ‘the common sense’ of contemporary development policy practice now hangs around the market building project. Yet, despite all this, problems of development remain plentiful. Independent regulatory structures prove hard to build and maintain, the dictates of good governance hard to realise, and growth, if present, regularly takes on a particularly pernicious form.

Subsequently, the New Approaches to Building Markets in Asia seminar series asks pointed questions of the market building project. For example, what new roles are being played by multilateral organisations, such as the IFC and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, in Asia? What new relationships are created by the market building project and what do these mean for citizens, private interests and policy makers? What are the ideological and practical implications of the market building project? What challenges exist to the market building project and how can they be resolved?

The seminar series seeks to draw in both established researchers with theoretical and empirical expertise in elements of the market building project and postgraduate students and early career researchers interested in the topic. Seminar presenters will be expected to present a paper that can be published in an edited volume or special edition of a leading journal as part of the New Approaches to Building Markets in Asia research project.

Successful submissions will receive return economy airfare to Singapore, three nights’ accommodation and a modest per diem.

Interested researchers should send an abstract of no more than 100 words to Dr Toby Carroll

The series will run from October 2010 through to March 2011.


Commodification of Indonesian Forests: From Timber to Palm Oil

Dr Paul Gellert
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Senior Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Professor in the Department of International Relations of Paramadina University, Jakarta.
Date: June 20, 2011