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Abstract

In his paper, "Globalization, Ideology, and Narratives of the East Asian Financial Crisis," Ezra Yoo-Hyeok Lee analyzes the narratives of the East Asian financial "crisis" in 1997-98, arguing that it took place in the course of restructuring the world economy so that the first world would keep its hegemonic power. The East Asian financial crisis spread rapidly to the rest of the globe and in this urgent situation, the IMF: International Monetary Fund played its now typical role as a "savior of the world." Before the financial crisis, the East Asian economy was considered to be an exemplary model from which Western countries could learn. But after the financial crisis, in the course of "saving" East Asian countries, the IMF produced a completely different discourse that was readily accepted in the West. The IMF claimed that the lack of the "transparency" and cronyism of the East Asian economy were the main causes of the financial crisis in the region. The IMF then began to "restructure" the East Asian economy that had already been structured over the last three decades according to the Western "standard" without considering carefully enough the impact on the lived experience of East Asian people. Lee examines how the IMF constructs a new Orientalism in order to rationalize its harsh cure for the East Asian financial crisis and attempts to unmask the doubleness of the Western economy, particularly the American economy, by analyzing how the discourse of "transparency" is applied differently to its own economic problems, as, for instance, in the case of Enron.

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