The I in CIVETS (part 3)


Continuing a series on Indonesia, the I in CIVETS, a group of countries tagged by a financial analyst as emerging economic powers. I’m wondering what kind of philanthropy there is in such countries, as a way of getting at the first of my two questions, “what is the role of philanthropy in a democratic society?”

Basic facts for context (continued): population, size of the economy, principal industries, political system, ethnic and religious makeup. Where would the country fall on the liberal market economy-coordinated market economy spectrum?

Back again with the CIA World Factbook, an incredibly handy online reference source.

There were 30 million Internet users in Indonesia in 2008, the 11th most in the world. While that’s only about 12% of the population, it’s still a significant number. The literacy rate was 90% in 2004, though that’s unequal by gender (94% male, 87% female).

Eighty-six percent of the population is Muslim. The primary ethnic groups are Javanese (40%) and Sundanese (15%), with a variety of other groups under 4%.

What about varieties of capitalism – where would the country fall on the LME-CME spectrum? This is the glaring blind spot in Hall and Soskice’s work on varieties of capitalism: it’s about the developed economies. According to a recent survey article, “Asia’s economies are at various stages of emergence and transition and do not easily fit into the LME-CME dichotomy.”

This was the feeling I got when I first studied varieties of capitalism in grad school; that it didn’t quite capture the reality of Latin America, the region I was studying. The legacy of colonialism was high levels of inequality, particularly around the distribution of land, and the process of developing in a world where there are already developed countries is fundamentally different. (The latter is one of the ideas that’s most stuck with me from grad school: timing really matters for development.)

Here’s an interesting quote from the same article about how well varieties of capitalism apply in Asia: “Peng et al. (2008) suggest that the key research question for an institutional theory of firm strategy in emerging and transitional scenarios is “how (do firms) play the game when the rules of the game are changing and not completely known” (2008: 5). This sounds very much like Latin America. Is the difference about how firms (or, extending the analogy I explored in prior posts, nonprofits) navigate a weakly institutionalized context, when the rules of the game are in flux? I’ll want to explore what this looks like in Indonesia, and the other CIVETS.


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One Response to “The I in CIVETS (part 3)”

  1. The Blog Briefly Known as "Democratizing Philanthropy?" » Blog Archive » Help a CIVET Says:

    […] been a couple of months since I posted in my series about the CIVETS, the emerging economies that are meant to be the next BRICs (Brazil, Russia, […]

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