The Internationalisation of Capital and the Transformation of Statehood in Southeast Asia

  • Faris Al-FadhatEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


This chapter examines the transformation of social classes and state forms in Southeast Asia. It charts in particular the emergence of a fraction of the bourgeoisie with a strong international orientation, denoted partly in the forms of cross-border corporate mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Combined with broader shifts in the global political economy, this has generated pressures to transform Southeast Asian states, shifting them from a national-developmentalist orientation towards “regulatory statehood” with important transnationalised elements. This restructuring of the state enables its active role in facilitating the global expansion of capital through various regulations and negotiations. Accordingly, the political dominance of transnationalised capital is being organised in and through the internationalisation of the state.


Internationalisation Multinational corporations State transformation Regulatory state Southeast Asia 


  1. Akrasanee, N., & Stifel, D. (1992). The political economy of the ASEAN free trade area. In P. Imada & S. Naya (Eds.), ASEAN: The way ahead (pp. 27–47). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.Google Scholar
  2. Alavi, R. (2014). Malaysia’s participation in the ASEAN Economic Community. In S. Basu Das & L. P. Onn (Eds.), Malaysia’s socio-economic transformation: Ideas for the next decade (pp. 227–260). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Fadhat, F. (2018). Regional value chains and the internationalisation of Indonesian business. In J. D. Wilson (Ed.), Expanding horizons: Indonesia’s regional engagement in the Indo-Pacific era (pp. 9–21). Perth: Perth USAsia Centre.Google Scholar
  4. Al-Fadhat, F. (2019). The rise of international capital: Indonesian conglomerates in ASEAN. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. ASEAN. (2009). ASEAN comprehensive investment agreement. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat.Google Scholar
  6. ASEAN. (2015). ASEAN investment report 2015: Infrastructure investment and connectivity. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat and UNCTAD.Google Scholar
  7. Asia Times. (2002, July 27). Singapore’s regionalization challenge. Asia Times.Google Scholar
  8. Athukorala, P. (2003). Crisis and recovery in Malaysia: The role of capital controls. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  9. Bieler, A., & Morton, A. D. (2014). The will-o’-the-wisp of the transnational state. Journal of Australian Political Economy, 72, 23–51.Google Scholar
  10. Boswell, T., & Chase-Dunn, C. K. (2000). The spiral of capitalism and socialism: Toward global democracy. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  11. Carroll, T., Gonzalez-Vicente, R., & Jarvis, D. S. L. (2019). Capital, conflict and convergence: A political understanding of neoliberalism and its relationship to capitalist transformation. Globalizations. Scholar
  12. Chee, P. L., & Gomez, E. T. (1994). Malaysian sogoshoshas: Superficial cloning, failed emulation. In K. S. Jomo (Ed.), Japan and Malaysian development: In the shadow of the rising sun (pp. 232–243). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Chia, S. Y. (2005). The Singapore model of industrial policy: Past evolution and current thinking. Paper presented at the LAEBA second annual meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28–29 November 2005.Google Scholar
  14. Chua, B. H. (1997). Political legitimacy and housing: Stakeholding in Singapore. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Chua, B. H. (2016). State-owned enterprises, state capitalism and social distribution in Singapore. The Pacific Review, 29(4), 499–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs. (2011). Masterplan for acceleration and expansion of Indonesia economic development. Jakarta: Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.Google Scholar
  17. Crouch, H. (1994). Indonesia: An uncertain outlook. Southeast Asian Affairs, 21(1), 121–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Darmayana, H., & Meryana, E. (2015). Makin Eksis Merambah Kawasan. Bloomberg Businessweek Indonesia, 30 March–5 April, 20–22.Google Scholar
  19. Dent, C. M. (2003). Transnational capital, the state and foreign economic policy: Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Review of International Political Economy, 10(2), 246–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Department of Statistics Singapore. (2009). Singapore’s investment abroad 2007. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry.Google Scholar
  21. Department of Statistics Singapore. (2016). Singapore’s direct investment abroad 2016. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry.Google Scholar
  22. Dewi, O. (2013). Reconciling development, conservation, and social justice in West Kalimantan. In O. Pye & J. Bhattacharya (Eds.), The palm oil controversy in Southeast Asia: A transnational perspective (pp. 164–178). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. First Pacific. (2006). Annual report 2006. Hong Kong: First Pacific Company Limited. Accessed 19 Oct 2015.
  24. First Pacific. (2015). Annual report 2015: Creating long-term value in Asia. Hong Kong: First Pacific Company Limited. Accessed 15 Mar 2017.
  25. GIC [Government of Singapore Investment Corporation]. (2018). GIC: Report on the management of the government’s portfolio for the year 2017/18. Singapore: GIC.Google Scholar
  26. Glassman, J. (1999). State power beyond the “territorial trap”: The internationalization of the state. Political Geography, 18(6), 669–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Golden Agri-Resources. (2017). Annual report 2017: Responsible growth through innovation. Singapore: Golden Agri-Resources Ltd.Google Scholar
  28. Gomez, E. T. (2006). Malaysian business groups: The state and capital development in the post-currency crisis period. In S. Chang (Ed.), Business groups in East Asia: Financial crisis, restructuring, and new growth (pp. 119–146). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gomez, E. T. (2009). The rise and fall of capital: Corporate Malaysia in historical perspective. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 39(3), 345–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gomez, E. T., & Jomo, K. S. (1997). Malaysia’s political economy: Politics, patronage and profits. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Hameiri, S., & Jones, L. (2015). Global governance as state transformation. Political Studies, 64(4), 793–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hewison, K. (1989). Bankers and bureaucrats: Capital and the role of the state in Thailand. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  33. IE Singapore. (2016). Annual report 2015/2016: The multiplier effect. Singapore: International Enterprise Singapore.Google Scholar
  34. Ito, M. (2015, February 2). Economic integration driving buyout boom in Southeast Asia. Nikkei Asian Review. Accessed 28 July 2017.
  35. Jessop, B. (2015). Crises, crisis-management and state restructuring: What future for the state? Policy & Politics, 43(4), 475–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jessop, B., & Overbeek, H. (Eds.). (2019). Transnational capital and class fractions: The Amsterdam School perspective reconsidered. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  37. Jones, M. R. (1997). Spatial selectivity of the state? The regulationist enigma and local struggles over economic governance. Environment and Planning A, 29(5), 831–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Koyanagi, K. (2017, November 22). Emerging Asian economies race to build metros amid choking congestion. Nikkei Asian Review. Accessed 20 Mar 2018.
  39. Lee, L. (2014, August 21). Malaysia more receptive to ASEAN Economic Community. The Star Online. Accessed 19 June 2017.
  40. Lippo Karawaci. (2008). Annual report 2008: Towards global excellence. Jakarta: PT Lippo Karawaci Tbk. Accessed 22 June 2017.
  41. Lippo Limited. (2016). Annual report 2015/2016. Hong Kong: Lippo Limited.Google Scholar
  42. MacLeod, G., & Goodwin, M. (1999). Reconstructing an urban and regional political economy: On the state, politics, scale, and explanation. Political Geography, 18(6), 697–730.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1965 [1848]). Manifesto of the Communist Party. In K. Marx & F. Engels (Eds.), Selected works (pp. 35–63). New York: International Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Muller, A. L. (1994). Industrial policy in Singapore. The South African Journal of Economics, 62(3), 146–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Nesadurai, H. E. S. (2003). Globalisation, domestic politics and regionalism: The ASEAN free trade area. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Nikkei Asian Review. (2014, November 20). The region’s top companies: ASEAN 100. Accessed 20 June 2016.
  47. Okposin, S. B. (1999). The extent of Singapore’s investments abroad. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishers.Google Scholar
  48. Overbeek, H. (2004). Transnational class formation and concepts of control: Towards a genealogy of the Amsterdam Project in international political economy. Journal of International Relations and Development, 7(2), 113–141.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Palloix, C. (1977). The self-expansion of capital on a world scale. Review of Radical Political Economics, 9(2), 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Panitch, L., & Gindin, S. (2004). Global capitalism and American empire. In C. Leys & L. Panitch (Eds.), Socialist register 2004: The new imperial challenge (pp. 1–42). London: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
  51. Parsonage, J. (1992). Southeast Asia’s “Growth Triangle”: A subregional response to global transformation. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 16(2), 307–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Poulantzas, N. (1974). Internationalisation of capitalist relations and the nation-state. Economy and Society, 3(2), 145–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Poulantzas, N. (1978). State, power, socialism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  54. Razak, N. D. S. (2016). ASEAN Economic Community in 2025. In Asia 2025 (pp. 37–40). London: Asia House.Google Scholar
  55. RGE [Royal Golden Eagle]. (2016). Our history: From local to global. Singapore: Royal Golden Eagle. Accessed 18 Mar 2017.
  56. Robinson, W. (2007). The pitfalls of realist analysis of global capitalism: A critique of Ellen Meiksins Wood’s Empire of Capital. Historical Materialism, 15(3), 71–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Robison, R. (1986). Indonesia: The rise of capital. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  58. Rodan, G. (1989). The political economy of Singapore’s industrialization: National state and international capital. Basingstoke: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  59. Rodan, G. (2006). Singapore: Globalisation, the state, and politics. In G. Rodan, K. Hewison, & R. Robison (Eds.), The political economy of South-East Asia: Markets, power, and contestation (pp. 137–169). Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Rodan, G. (2016). Capitalism, inequality and ideology in Singapore: New challenges for the ruling party. Asian Studies Review, 40(2), 211–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rodan, G., Hewison, K., & Robison, R. (Eds.). (2006). The political economy of South-East Asia: Markets, power and contestation. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Sklair, L. (2001). The transnational capitalist class. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  63. Smith, S. L. D. (1997). The Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore growth triangle: A political and economic equation. Australian Journal of International Affairs, 51(3), 369–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Tan, C. K. (2015, November 18). Malaysia gears up to declare regional integration. Nikkei Asian Review. Accessed 19 June 2017.
  65. Tan, C. K. (2016, September 1). CIMB chief calls on the private sector to move integration forward. Nikkei Asian Review. Accessed 19 June 2017.
  66. Tan, A. (2018, July 13). GIC 20-year returns ease to 3.4% amid challenging climate. The Business Times. Accessed 10 Mar 2019.
  67. Temasek Holdings. (2014). Temasek review 2014. Singapore: Temasek Holdings.Google Scholar
  68. Tremewan, C. (1994). The political economy of social control in Singapore. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Tsoukalas, K. (1999). Globalisation and the executive committee: Reflections on the contemporary capitalist state. In L. Panitch & C. Leys (Eds.), Socialist register 1999: Global capitalism versus democracy (pp. 56–75). London: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
  70. Tsui-Auch, L. S. (2006). Singaporean business groups: The role of the state and capital in Singapore Inc. In S. Chang (Ed.), Business groups in East Asia: Financial crisis, restructuring, and new growth (pp. 94–115). New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. UNCTAD. (2015). World investment report 2015: Reforming international investment governance. Geneva: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.Google Scholar
  72. UNCTAD. (2018). UNCTADstat. Accessed 16 May 2019.
  73. van Apeldoorn, B. (2004). Theorizing the transnational: A historical materialist approach. Journal of International Relations and Development, 7(2), 142–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Webster, T. J. (2014). Malaysian economic development, leading industries and industrial clusters. The Singapore Economic Review, 59(5), 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Wissel, J. (2006). The transnationalization of the bourgeoisie and the new networks of power. In A. Gallas, L. Bretthauer, J. Kannankulam, & I. Stützle (Eds.), Reading Poulantzas (pp. 216–230). Pontypool: Merlin Press.Google Scholar
  76. Wong, P. K., & Ng, C. Y. (1997). Singapore’s industrial policy to the year 2000. In S. Masuyama, D. Vandenbrink, & C. S. Yue (Eds.), Industrial policies in East Asia (pp. 121–141). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; Tokyo: Nomura Research Institute.Google Scholar
  77. Yahya, F. (2005). State capitalism and government linked companies. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, 6(1), 3–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social and Political SciencesUniversitas Muhammadiyah YogyakartaBantulIndonesia

Personalised recommendations