Masina, Pietro
University of Milano-Bicocca (UNIMIB)
Individual Project :

The team of the University of Naples “L’Orientale” is exploring the process of industrialization in Southeast Asia and its consequences in terms of poverty reduction and workers’ livelihoods. Pietro Masina’s specific contribution to the research has focused on the industrialization process, challenging the prevailing neoliberal discourse for which Southeast Asian countries are now facing a ‘middle-income trap’ requiring further liberalization. This discourse is promoted by the same economists and institutions (above all, the World Bank) that in 1993 had predicted an East Asian Miracle, suggesting that Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia were the models to be followed by developing countries. His research suggests that the so-called trap derives also from the implementation of the economic policy promoted by the World Bank and that further liberalization would aggravate a tendency towards uneven development. The results – still ongoing – have been presented at several seminars (including one in Brussels, organized by the SEATIDE project in cooperation with the European Commission) and two key publications. The first is a book in Italian, Il Sud Est Asiatico in trappola: storia di un miracolo mancato (Roma: Nuova Cultura, 2013). The second is a chapter due for publication at the end of 2014, ‘Miracles or uneven development? Asia in the contemporary world economy’, in Arve Hansen & Ulrikke Wethal (eds.), Emerging Economies and Challenges to Sustainability: Theories, Strategies, Local Realities. (London and New York: Routledge).