This book seeks to demonstrate the role of public policy in support of equitable and inclusive development. The achievement of this overarching goal rests on an assumption that development does not happen by chance or by accident, but rather, through the deliberate application of analytical tools which public policy is able to provide. Set within an Asian context, the book emphasizes the role of public policy in reducing poverty, eliminating deprivation, promoting equity, and ensuring social justice.
The book likewise aims to provide an argument for the developmental role of the state — one which has been the subject of a long-standing debate among development scholars. In addition, the book accounts for the role of civil society organizations, particularly their involvement in multi-stakeholder participation. Through different case studies, this book explains the outcome of public policy decisions as combinations of efforts among government and civil society actors, to ensure the creation of the most optimal public good. Finally, the book takes a comparative perspective, i.e., there are cases that directly or indirectly implicate the regional character of public policies that result in the creation and distribution of regional public goods.
‘This book provides a wealth of information and insights about planning and development projects in Southeast Asia. It carefully documents how South Eastern governments seek to align with international development guidelines as well as with local contingencies. Such efforts are always institutionally intricate and politically laden. The chapter on the Nam Theun hydroproject in Laos analyzes in detail the foreseen negative impacts and the mitigation measures, including the fate of numerous consultation processes. Another chapter traces the agrarian reform actions in The Philippines and focuses on the intriguing coalition of the Congress for a People’s Agrarian Reform. While it failed in the short term due to internal and external impediments, its legacy provides indicators for the long term.’ —Harro van Lente, Socrates Professor Philosophy of Sustainable Development, ICIS, Faculty of Humanities & Sciences of Maastricht University
Foreword 1. Opening Laos: The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project 2. The Congress for People’s Agrarian Reform in the Philippines 3. New Kid on the Block: Chinese Development Assistance in Asia 4. Lessons in Regional Economic Cooperation: The Case of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) 5. Whither the Trees and the Forests? The Task Force Total Commercial Log Ban in the Philippines 6. Protecting the Domestic Worker: The Case of Sri Lanka 7. Myanmar’s Development: An Opportunity for Genuine Transformation 8. Concluding Chapter