Book Excerpt! The Making of a Periphery (introduction)

The incorporation of island Southeast Asia into the global capitalist economy was not one homogenizing process, as scholars from Immanuel Wallerstein to Daron Acemoglu would have it. Instead, local demographic, social, and political conditions determined the emergence of a variety of labor relations, migration patterns, and patterns of social inequality. In this pathbreaking book, Ulbe Bosma shows in great empirical detail how these diverse forms emerged centuries ago and continue to influence the connection between island Southeast Asia and the capitalist world economy to this day.

~ Sven Beckert, Harvard University/span>

Island Southeast Asia was a thriving region, but changes throughout the colonial era marked a downturn in their economic system. Today, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are primarily exporters of their surplus of cheap labor, with more than ten million emigrants from the region working all over the world. In The Making of a Periphery: How Island Southeast Asia Became a Mass Exporter of Labor, Ulbe Bosma answers the question of how this once prosperous region became a peripheral one. This introduction to the book gives a brief background on the region and what to expect from Bosma’s analysis.

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