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On the basis of research conducted in Indonesia, the author investigates a key transition in the production of timber for export. The analysis is based on a rich liter- ature focusing on commodity chains. In addition to economic factors, the author gives attention to struc- tures of governance, including the formation and disso- lution of political alliances and coalitions. From the late 1980s through 1998, Indonesian plywood producers consolidated power in a state-supported domestic oli- gopoly, forged a transnational alliance that circum- vented the power of Japanese trading houses, and supported domestic accumulation. The Asian crisis of 1997 to 1998 and structural adjustments imposed by the International Monetary Fund radically transformed Indonesia’s options, diminishing its capacity to com- pete, as China emerged as a major producer of wood- related products. The Indonesian case may well illustrate processes of market remarginalization result- ing from the implementation of neoliberal policies.

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