Great Transformations

  • Jonathan D LondonEmail author
Part of the Studies in the Political Economy of Public Policy book series (PEPP)


The world-scale expansion of markets and market relations is among the defining features of our times. We can refer to this process by way of a generic if inelegant neologism—marketization. Among the most widely cited stylized facts regarding the last three decades of marketization are those that highlight its contribution to foreign direct investment (FDI), to accelerated economic growth, and improvements in living standards in the developing world, especially in East Asia. Yet marketizing in East Asia and in other historical contexts has been associated with other effects. These include the intensification of inequality, competitiveness, and economic insecurity, political tensions, and the generation of new opportunities and risks. Indeed, significance of marketization does not lie only with the expansion of markets. Marketization as an historical process entails the disruption, transformation, and reordering of the very foundations of social life. This chapter examines marketization in world historical perspective and focuses on marketization in contemporary East Asia as a particularly interesting instance of marketization. Observing East Asia’s socio-economic and institutional diversity, the chapter poses questions about marketization registers across countries and the determinants of welfare and inequality. The chapter concludes with a summation of major claims to be explored in the volume, followed by a synoptic over of the chapters.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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