"This is an outstanding piece of scholarship, with innovative theorizing, a creative use of multiple methods, and a careful and nuanced analysis of various country experiences. Pepinsky's book tackles the elephant in the room in the crisis transitions literature-why do some crises lead to regime change while most others do not? The recognition that during crises adjustment policy and regime survival are two battles being fought simultaneously is an important insight. Adjustment is inherently political and Pepinsky's approach marries the economic exigencies of a crisis with the political realities leaders face, and explores when these two things are (or are not) compatible."
-Allen Hicken, University of Michigan
"What explains the strikingly different policy and political reactions of the Malaysian and Indonesian governments to the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis? Why did Malaysia under Mahathir turn inward economically, maintaining its authoritarian politics, while the Indonesian dictatorship under Suharto failed to formulate a coherent policy response, then collapsed and was soon transformed into a democracy? Pepinsky argues that it was not the usual suspects of left or right, class conflict or macro-institutional patterns, but rather the regime-constructed political coalitions-cohesive in Malaysia, divided in Indonesia on crucial economic policies-that made the difference. His answer is original and persuasive. This is the political economy of development at its most productive, advancing theoretical understanding through sophisticated, fine-grained case studies based on extensive field work in both countries."
-R. William Liddle, The Ohio State University
"As against all the ad hoc and ad hominem accounts of Suharto and Mahathir, and against the false promise of a narrowly institutionalist analysis, Pepinsky's close and careful comparative study of economic crises and regime transitions in Southeast Asia demonstrates the abiding importance of understanding the complex interplay of economic interests for explaining policy choices and political outcomes. This kind of emphasis on social forces and the social embeddedness of policies and politics is long overdue and extremely welcome."
-John T. Sidel, London School of Economics and Political Science
"Recommended. Charts, graphs, an abbreviation list, footnotes, a bibliography, and an index are helpful."
-CHOICE, F. L. Mokhtari, National Defense University
"Which regimes will survive and which ones will buckle under popular discontentment? The prevailing literature does not offer clear answers. It is precisely this question that is at the heart of Thomas Pepinsky's excellent new book. The book is a tour de force, using formal analysis, rigorous quantitative methods, and careful qualitative work, all contained in a highly readable account of the crises facing the two countries and the elite-level maneuvering of top politicians and corporate actors to respond."
Perspectives on Politics, Edmund Malesky, University of California- San Diego