East Asia’s industrial transformation represents one of the most significant developments in the history of the modern world, generating an enormous body of interest in studies of IPE. For many, the region’s successful economic development cannot be understood without acknowledging the existence of what Chalmers Johnson referred to as a ‘developmental state’ – both as an empirical reality and a theory. In the same spirit as Johnson’s pioneering work, my focus differs from the preoccupation of mainstream studies of industry policy on ‘comparative advantage’ or on the optimum mix of policy tools. I focus instead on the underlying system behind the formulation and implementation of government policies. The purpose of this chapter is to highlight the ideational, institutional and political sources of the state’s capacity to drive technological catch-up, and their evolution, as countries compete at or close to the technology frontier in a globalized economy. However, the extent to which developmental states can sustain their relentless drive for national techno-economic competitiveness on the basis of innovation (not imitation) remains deeply contested. I examine four key issues at the centre of the debate, concluding with the observation that the developmental state debate is far from settled.
|Title of host publication||The Routledge handbook to global political economy|
|Subtitle of host publication||conversations and inquiries|
|Place of Publication||New York ; London|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group|
|Number of pages||17|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|