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The States of Precarity: The Consequences of Neoliberalization in East Asia

Tue, June 23, 11:05am to 1:00pm, South Building, Floor: 9th Floor, S901

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


This panel explores variegated conditions and people’s responses to the neoliberal changes in East Asia. In the past decades, East Asia has been experiencing a very condensed and extensive neoliberalization, but its processes and structural changes have been differently implemented and materialized in different cities and districts. Although per capital incomes gradually increased in many parts, the intensive neoliberalization could not provide solution to polarization of populace. The failure of the neoliberal reform not only resulted in growing economic inequality, but also made people discontent with the current changes.

This panel discusses the diverse ramification of neoliberal changes to people and their variant responses such as their cooperation, negotiation, contestation or resistance against the structural changes. It considers both people’s predicaments in urban and rural areas, and the public movements including the Sunflower movements in Taiwan, and the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong. In so doing, this panel aims at understanding multiplicity and contradiction of people’s conditions under neoliberalization, which it refers to the states of precarity. Understanding of people’s precarious states would be critical with capturing the characteristics of the neoliberal conjuncture in East Asia. The neoliberal conjuncture in East Asia would demonstrate both continuities and ruptures in relation to neoliberalization of the other parts of the world. Meanwhile, the efforts of exploring the neoliberal conjunctures of East Asia will contribute both to indicating that there are different paths to the modes of modern livings (or predicaments) and to providing useful resources for theorizing multiple modernities in the world.

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