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Predatory, developmental, and other apparatuses: A comparative political economy perspective on the Third World state

Abstract

Disappointment over the contributions of Third World state apparatuses to industrial transformation and the increasing intellectual dominance of “neoutiliarian” paradigms in the social science has made if fashionable to castigate the Third World state as “predatory” and “rent seeking.” This paper argues for a more differentiated view, one that connects differences in performance to differences in state structure. The “incoherent absolutist domination” of the “klepto-patrimonial” Zairian state are contrasted to the “embedded autonomy” of the East Asian developmental state. Then the internal structure and external ties of an intermediate state — Brazil — are analyzed in relation to both polar types. The comparative evidence suggests that the efficacy of the developmental state depends on a meritocratic bureaucracy with a strong sense of corporate identity and a dense set of institutionalized links to private elites.

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Evans, P.B. Predatory, developmental, and other apparatuses: A comparative political economy perspective on the Third World state. Sociol Forum 4, 561–587 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01115064

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Key words

  • state
  • industrialization
  • developmental state
  • neo-utilitarianism
  • East Asia
  • Japan
  • Brazil