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Colonial Trauma and Postcolonial Anxieties

The Haunted Choices of Economic Development

«

In the 1980s and early 1990s, East Asia economic development was hailed as a miracle. Economists saw it as a model the world could follow: its visionary leadership, its egalitarian values and its future-oriented industrial strategy. For Maureen Sioh, this model has an underside, grounded in the legacies of colonial traumas. These traumas repeat themselves, producing a far more anxious and complex postcolonial legacy than most recognise or acknowledge. In this provocative and passionate book, Sioh brilliantly explores economic development as an ongoing struggle for survival and human dignity. In doing so, she addresses the core questions of global economic development: What are the lasting legacies of colonialism? How can we know what development is? Is economic development only about wealth generation?

Steve Pile, Professor of Human Geography, The Open University

This book is a tour de force, convincingly demonstrating that the psyche is not trivial or secondary but central to economic decision-making. Focusing on postcolonial Malaysia, Sioh brilliantly maps the wounds of trauma and anxiety in economic crisis and ‘miracle’.

Ilan Kapoor, author of Confronting Desire: Psychoanalysis and International Development and Professor of Critical Development Studies, York University, Toronto

Economic growth, development, progress … belying these self-evidently rational aspirations are unconscious drives for the repair and restitution of psychic wounds running deep within the postcolonial world. Exploring the libidinal economy of the Malaysian state, Sioh expertly brings into relief the anxieties and trauma that surreptitiously play out in the seemingly staid realm of economic policy. Haunted Choices is an important work, marking the beginning of a turn in political economy to the therapeutic.

Earl Gammon, Senior Lecturer in Global Political Economy, University of Sussex

»

This book dismantles conventional political and economic thinking to explore the Asian Economic Miracle as an outcome of the traumas of postcolonial economic development. This book argues that these unconscious anxieties underpin the postcolonial and neoliberal political economy, producing a particular libidinal economy that is fixated on the maintenance of dignity and the avoidance of humiliation. Les mer

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This book dismantles conventional political and economic thinking to explore the Asian Economic Miracle as an outcome of the traumas of postcolonial economic development. This book argues that these unconscious anxieties underpin the postcolonial and neoliberal political economy, producing a particular libidinal economy that is fixated on the maintenance of dignity and the avoidance of humiliation.


Through the cases of Singapore and Malaysia, a psychoanalytic perspective provides new insights into racialized and masculine unconscious anxieties around survival, dignity and humiliation. Sioh traces the development of the postcolonial state, charting the shift from social power being rooted in military to economic success. The complex relationship between the political economy of neoliberal austerity and psychic humiliation is explored, and the ways in which East Asian economic decision-making has served not just as an economic, but a cultural battleground, to define development and underdevelopment.

Detaljer

Forlag
Routledge
Innbinding
Innbundet
Språk
Engelsk
Sider
172
ISBN
9781138217492
Utgivelsesår
2024
Format
23 x 16 cm

Om forfatteren

Maureen Sioh, Department of Geography, DePaul University in Chicago, USA.

Anmeldelser

«

In the 1980s and early 1990s, East Asia economic development was hailed as a miracle. Economists saw it as a model the world could follow: its visionary leadership, its egalitarian values and its future-oriented industrial strategy. For Maureen Sioh, this model has an underside, grounded in the legacies of colonial traumas. These traumas repeat themselves, producing a far more anxious and complex postcolonial legacy than most recognise or acknowledge. In this provocative and passionate book, Sioh brilliantly explores economic development as an ongoing struggle for survival and human dignity. In doing so, she addresses the core questions of global economic development: What are the lasting legacies of colonialism? How can we know what development is? Is economic development only about wealth generation?

Steve Pile, Professor of Human Geography, The Open University

This book is a tour de force, convincingly demonstrating that the psyche is not trivial or secondary but central to economic decision-making. Focusing on postcolonial Malaysia, Sioh brilliantly maps the wounds of trauma and anxiety in economic crisis and ‘miracle’.

Ilan Kapoor, author of Confronting Desire: Psychoanalysis and International Development and Professor of Critical Development Studies, York University, Toronto

Economic growth, development, progress … belying these self-evidently rational aspirations are unconscious drives for the repair and restitution of psychic wounds running deep within the postcolonial world. Exploring the libidinal economy of the Malaysian state, Sioh expertly brings into relief the anxieties and trauma that surreptitiously play out in the seemingly staid realm of economic policy. Haunted Choices is an important work, marking the beginning of a turn in political economy to the therapeutic.

Earl Gammon, Senior Lecturer in Global Political Economy, University of Sussex

»

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