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Reappraising the developmental state
conference contributionposted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by David HundtDavid Hundt
This paper evaluates the legacy of the developmental state, which has been by most measures a successful vehicle of socioeconomic transformation. It seeks to clarify the features of the Asian model of development, to assess its contemporary significance, and to highlight the distinctive strands of national capitalism in the region. Consequently, the paper clarifies the factors which contributed to the formation of developmental states, and also the function of such states. Geopolitical, socioeconomic and political change since the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 has undermined the assumptions of the developmental state thesis. In seeking to ascertain the elements of the developmental state model which are most impervious to change, the paper finds comparatively greater variation in terms of state–business interaction with society than in the will and capacity of states to adopt a developmental orientation.