The Asian Developmental State: Ideas and Debates

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The rapid economic transformations of Japan and, later, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other second-tier East Asian newly industrializing countries have since the 1970s daunted observers around the world. The “developmental state” is one of the most influential ideas that have been put forth to make sense of the drama. Johnson (1982, 1995), in presenting a pioneering study of Japan, identified the developmental state as one that gives priority to economic growth, productivity, and technological competitiveness. It is led by a small, elite bureaucracy recruited from the best managerial talents, which provides leadership through the formulation of industrial policies. Furthermore, a pilot agency within the bureaucracy exists to coordinate the policy formulation and implementation. Such industrial policies do not displace the market, but gear to market rationality in the long term. Finally, it is facilitated by a political system that gives sufficient room for the bureaucracy to take initiatives (see Öniş 1991).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Asian Developmental State
Subtitle of host publicationReexaminations and New Departures
EditorsYin-wah Chu
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781137476128
ISBN (Print)9781137476111, 9781349574100
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Industrial Policy
  • Developmental State
  • Defense Advance Research Project Agency
  • State Bureaucracy
  • Developmental Intervention


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