Edited by Patricia Kennett
Chapter 5: Developmental States and Global Neoliberalism
Amornsak Kitthananan INTRODUCTION The neoliberal discourse of global institutions is extremely inﬂuential in the West; and is a dominant theme of academic analysis of the state, governance and the policy process. However, in some countries of Asia, states have followed a diﬀerent path from that prescribed by global institutions and neoliberal orthodoxy. This chapter addresses this issue and uses the dynamic of state reorientation in Asia as a contribution to the debate. It discusses the dynamism of state orientation and reorientation in the light of global neoliberalism. While many states in the West might play a crucial role in providing the regulatory framework for markets to function eﬃciently, what is distinctive about some states in Asia is that they deliberately sought to intervene in the market or economy diﬀerently from the neoliberals’ vision. Economic development in East Asia was not something that simply happened as a consequence of the fortuitous and unplanned inﬂuence of market forces, but was a result of the state’s decision in the extent to which it should intervene to direct or guide the economy. It also depended on how the state had arranged its institutional relationship with other players in the governance structures. GLOBAL NEOLIBERALISM, STATE AND PUBLIC POLICY It has been over three decades since the 1970s when the neoliberal ideal began to replace the state-led Keynesian orthodoxy, ﬁrstly within Western governments, then as the main policy prescription of international ﬁnancial organizations, and later transferred into the policymaking of developing...
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