Welfare, Clientelism, and Inequality: Malaysia and Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines

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


This chapter seeks to illuminate determinants of welfare and inequality in marketizing Southeast Asia by examining the interdependent relations among political and economic institutions in four countries: Malaysia and Thailand, Indonesia and The Philippines. Within each, we treat politics and economy (domination and accumulation) as inseparable and interwoven aspects of social life. We examine how national and subnational interests within these countries have responded to and operated within the context of marketization and the implications of this with respect to economic restructuring, the selection and conduct of social policies, and the variegated and mediated effects of these on welfare, inequality, and livelihoods. Overall, this chapter makes the case that while the presence or formal democratic institutions generates distinctive logics of rule, clientelist and patrimonial relations and institutions within weak formal democratic institutions typically short circuit potentially ‘progressive effects’ of democratization while generating opportunities for predatory behaviors that generate adverse outcomes for those without requisite income, wealth, or status.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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