In Southeast Asia as elsewhere, shifts in global, regional, and domestic politics and economies benefit some and disadvantage others. Overall, those individuals and groups defined by their subordinated position in the emerging political economy are at a disadvantage. Moreover, the decline of ideology, particularly with the seemingly hegemonic advance of neoliberalism, has limited space for challenge along those lines. Rather than assume, however, that it is merely the wealthiest ‘one per cent’ who are advantaged and empowered in this evolving system, we can weigh what resources and alliances are available to whom. Members of newly-formed categories may benefit from the shifting tides, regardless of class or structural position, for instance given their alignment with prevailing norms or frames, or their access to new media and transnational advocacy networks. Some of those most disadvantaged by the shifting economic context, on the other hand, may be doubly disempowered, as they face added hurdles to identity-building and collective action. This article explores new regimes of domination and resistance from below, focusing on why particular collective identities gain salience at particular moments and what determines which movements or claims take off or fail to thrive.