Chapter

Not of a Piece: Developmental States, Industrial Policy, and Evolving Patterns of Capitalism in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan

Karl J. Fields

in East Asian Capitalism

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199643097
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741944 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199643097.003.0003
Not of a Piece: Developmental States, Industrial Policy, and Evolving Patterns of Capitalism in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan

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Decades of high growth in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea led a generation of scholars to herald the emergence of an East Asian ‘developmental state’ marked by internally coherent and cross-nationally comparable political economic institutions and policy packages. This chapter shows that scholars clearly overstated their early claims of an isomorphic East Asian developmental state model. More recent contentions of institutional divergence among the three are truer in form than in substance and predictions of the end of the East Asian developmental state are premature. Neither the path-dependent persistence of functional or dysfunctional institutions nor even piecemeal or wholesale evolutions away from these state–business arrangements warrant the conclusion that the outcome of these processes will yield convergence upon a neo-liberal order of capitalism. In seeking to account for these evolutions, the chapter argues that while emerging change coalitions, declining state strength, and a dominant policy discourse of neo-liberalism have attenuated the developmental states in all three national economies and in many cases dramatically shifted the form of industrial policy and state intervention, the substance of developmentalism remains.

Keywords: Japan; South Korea; Taiwan; developmental state; state–business relations; neo-liberal reforms; institutional divergence

Chapter.  9162 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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