Developmental States beyond East Asia

Routledge, 2019

This comprehensive volume reviews recent scholarship regarding the role of the state in economic development. With a wide range of case studies of both successful and failed state-led development, the authors push the analysis of the developmental state beyond its original limitations and into the 21st century.

New policies, institutional configurations, and state-market relations are emerging outside of East Asia, as new developmental states move beyond the historical experience of East Asian development. The authors argue for the continued relevance of the ‘developmental state’ and for understanding globalization and structural transformation through the lens of this approach. They further this concept by applying it to analyses of China, Latin America, and Africa, as well as to new frontiers of state-led development in Japan and the East Asian developmental states. This book expands the scope of research on state-led development to encompass new theoretical and methodological innovations and new topics such as governance, institution building, industrial policy and the role of extractive industries.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Third World Quarterly.


The state isn’t taking a backseat. Across the Global South states are taking the lead in driving economic development, looking to East Asian Developmental States as a model. Whether the success of the latter can be replicated is for the future to tell. What matters now is that we have the right theories and concepts to explain what is going on. This timely volume is a move in this direction.

Adam D. Dixon
Associate Professor of Technology and Society Studies
Maastricht University

The global crisis of neoliberalism makes urgent the search for alternatives to market-led economic development. Equally urgent is to find models of economic growth that address the ever-increasing danger of global warming. The two questions cannot be solved by market forces alone. Strong state capacity, working in close partnership with both business and civil society is necessary to achieve ecologically sustainable economic development. By looking at the role of development states across regions in the 21st century and mapping both their successes and their shortcomings, this volume addresses some of the most relevant questions about the future of our planet and of the people that inhabit it.

Francisco Panizza
Professor in Latin American and Comparative Politics
The London School of Economics and Political Science

This collection not only brings together insightful analyses of the transferability of the East Asian developmental state experience to China and African and Latin American states, but also evaluates recent new initiatives among developmental states from the paradigmatic East Asian examples of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and, to a certain extent, Singapore. Written in a highly accessible and engaging manner, chapters in this book collectively provide an important addition to the recent academic and policy efforts in rethinking the developmental state increasingly shaped by changing forces in the global political economy. It will serve as a highly relevant guide for our understanding of state-led development in the 21st century.

Henry Wai-chung Yeung
Distinguished Professor
National University of Singapore

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