The literature is extant on the origins and evaluation of East Asian developmental states and some Southeast Asian ones, drawing differentiations and variations between the first- and second-generation developmental states. The common issue is that what had worked has become less effective as domestic and external conditions have changed, the latter as much influenced by globalisation, information communication technology, knowledge-based new economy and deregulation in the global economy. Developmental states are clearly not static, but dynamic and transitional over time.
This volume has three main objectives. First, as the title suggests, the relevancy and resilience of developmental states, especially in Asia is questioned. The Asian crisis seems to have turned the economic miracle economies to a fast meltdown (Clark and Chan in Chapter 2 in this volume) with Japan (Araki in Chapter 5 in this volume) still in a profound stagnation which puts the faith and credibility of developmental state at stake, both its rise and fall (Besson in Chapter 1 in this volume). As the Asian crisis triggered or precipitated the meltdown, a second, objective is to explore the reasons and factors for the breakdown or redundancy of developmental states, distinguishing between domestic transformative capacity and external global factors as identified. A third objective is to cull experiences and lessons beyond East Asia. With many transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe beside China and Indochinese states (Tin in Chapter 11 in this volume), the theory and practice of developmental states may be a useful bridge. These are by no means exhaustive and comprehensive aims, questions and issues. For individual developmental states covered in this volume, country-specific lessons may also be drawn for them to be reconfigured to stay relevant.
The most important consideration for this volume is to value-add to the literature, both the theory and principles of the Asian developmental state as well as empirical observations observed elsewhere. This volume comprises 13 chapters in two parts. Part 1 (Chapters 1 to 5) surveys the theoretical and empirical overview of developmental states while Part 2 (Chapters 6 to 13) covers nine country-cases, with Abbott’s chapter on the automobile industry doubling for the developmental state’s experience in Thailand and Malaysia.