‘Getting a Dial Tone: Telecommunications Liberalisation in Malaysia and the Philippines’ by Lorraine Carlos Salazar

Posted on October 19, 2007  /  0 Comments

Cover ‘Getting a Dial Tone: Telecommunications Liberalisation in Malaysia and the Philippines’ by Lorraine Carlos Salazar, Senior Researcher at LIRNEasia and Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS), was published by ISEAS this week.The book analyses the telecommunications reform process in Malaysia and the Philippines where far-reaching reforms have taken place.By looking at the institutions and actors that drove these changes, this book examines state capacity, market reform, and rent-seeking in the two countries. In doing so, the study challenges conventional depictions of the Malaysian and Philippine states. It contends that despite the weakness of the Philippine state, reform occurred through a coalition that out-manoeuvred vested interests. In Malaysia, although considered a strong state, patronage and rent-seeking played key roles in policy adoption and implementation. The study also demonstrates how the nature of groups supporting reform shapes policy implementation and its outcomes. Finally, while liberalisation removes monopoly rent, this book shows that it can also create other types of rents.

Here are some reviews of the book:

“This is a lively, comprehensive, and illuminating investigation of telecommunications policy in Malaysia and the Philippines. Much has been written about the processes and outcomes of reform in these countries but, employing a rich and eclectic political economy framework, few researchers have managed to distil as much information with as much authority as Dr Salazar. Moreover, and to further underline the complexity of the issues, the Philippines emerges as a relatively successful reformer, contrary to widespread perceptions that reform in that country is extremely difficult.”

Hal Hill
H.W. Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economies
Australian National University

“This original and pioneering comparison of privatisation in Malaysia and the Philippines is an incisive and compelling study of the outcome of the nexus between the state and capital in developing economies. This book is essential reading for those seeking insights into the discourse on democracy and development and the political economy of privatisation in Southeast Asia.”

Edmund Terence Gomez
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)

“Salazar’s work is an important contribution to the scholarship on Southeast Asian political economy. Her book addresses the dynamics of reform in the telecommunications sector, examining the puzzle of why greater success was achieved in the Philippines under a “weak and captured” state than in Malaysia under a “strong and developmental” state. Salazar provides a convincing and well-argued explanation, pointing the Philippine case to the advocacy efforts of a reform coalition that enjoyed the vigorous support of President Fidel Ramos. The comparison between the two countries is skillfully executed and based on rich, historically grounded analysis of their respective political economies.”

Paul D. Hutchcroft
Associate Professor and Associate Chair
Department of Political Science
University of Wisconsin-Madison

To see flyer, please click HERE

To purchase, please go to http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/

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