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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 1 No 2 (1999)

The Rule of Law and Governance in the East Asian State

Kanishka Jayasuriya is Senior Research Fellow at Murdoch University's Asia Research Centre.

In recent years multilateral agencies have placed much emphasis on the promotion of the 'rule of law' in East Asia; and the recent Asian economic crisis has accelerated the development of governance and rule-of-law programs. This paper argues that these rule-of-law programs are not just technical and neutral exercises, but are anchored in distinctive configurations of state structures and political traditions. Rather than the development of a liberal understanding of the rule of law, the emerging legalism in East Asia points to the appearance of a form of economic constitutionalism. This authoritarian legalism serves to constitute an economic arena that is quarantined from political influences giving rise to an increasingly fragmented state.

(1999) 1(2) Asian Law 107

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