Power competition and Exploitation in Southeast Asia

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Understanding the economic and political dimensions of imperialism requires a careful theoretical reading and close empirical study of the historical phases involved. This paper critically examines the historically and contemporary implications of how Southeast Asia was incorporated into the world market. It traces how the rival colonial powers established exploitative mechanisms in order to extract surplus value from the region. US imperialism in the form of export of capital and production did not replace the European former colonial powers but became a supplement to Japanese, and in particular British economic imperialism, in the region. This contribution challenges the conventional wisdom that American economic imperialism and hegemony was benign and not based on the British and Japanese use of brute force and conquest. In contrast to this view this paper argues that American monopoly capital expansion should be viewed by its “essential one-ness” between economic, political, and military-strategic objectives/tendencies
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Handbook of Economic Imperialism
EditorsImmanuel Ness, Zak Cope
Number of pages18
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date1 Mar 2022
ISBN (Print)9780197527085
ISBN (Electronic)9780197527115
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022
SeriesOxford Handbooks


  • Imperialism
  • Colonialism
  • Southeast Asia
  • exploitation
  • surplus-value
  • capital accumulation
  • profit
  • class conflict
  • dependency
  • protectionism
  • de-colonization


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