'Weakening state power or weak conceptions of state power?'. Presentation at the International Political Science Association's 25th World Congress of Political Science, Brisbane, Australia.

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation



The year 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, which was seen by everyday people and analysts alike as a watershed moment in the growth trajectories of Northeast Asia’s ‘miracle’ economies. Many viewed the Crisis as somehow marking the finality of East Asia’s growth prospects and the capitalist model, the ‘developmental state’, which arguably underpinned forty years of economic development. However, over the past two decades a plethora of rigorous analyses drawing upon rich empirical research and sophisticated conceptual advances have demonstrated the state’s ability to adapt to new and significant challenges. Yet, even in 2017 there exists a widely held view amongst even the most seasoned scholars of East Asian political economy that although the developmental state may not be in terminal decline, its effectiveness in governing industrial transformation has significantly weakened. In light of these developments, a perplexing question arises: why, despite substantial evidence pointing to the contrary is a ‘shrinking’ or ‘dwindling’ state view of East Asia’s developmental states so widely shared even twenty years after the 1997 Crisis? Through undertaking a examination of the key propositions of ‘state-adaptationalists’ and the ‘shrinking state’ view, I argue that claims over the decreased effectiveness of state power are based on empirically weak grounds. The idea that developmental states have weakened in the two decades after the 1997 Crisis relies on a deep methodological bias evident in many writers who posit states as being in contention over policy leadership with business actors. Governments and business might frequently be in contest, but proponents of the dwindling state thesis ignore the multitude of ways in which corporate actions work in concert with and under the guidance of governmental power.
Period21 Jul 201825 Jul 2018
Event titleInternational Political Science Association 25th World Congress of Political Science
Event typeConference
LocationBrisbane , Australia, QueenslandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational