The Politics of Developmental State Persistence: Institutional Origins, Industrialization, and Provincial Challenge

  • Adnan Naseemullah
  • Caroline E. ArnoldEmail author


How and why do developmental state institutions persist? We address this conceptual question through an empirical puzzle: even though Pakistan and Turkey, like South Korea and Taiwan, constructed postwar developmental state institutions, the Pakistani and Turkish economies have been unable to upgrade to higher value-added production following the Korean and Taiwanese experience. If, as many scholars argue, the creation of developmental state institutions is necessary and sufficient for high growth outcomes, how can we understand the divergence between these two sets of cases? We argue that that the persistence of developmental state institutions is contingent on the absence of articulated opposition from agrarian actors and provincial capitalists against regimes of industrial promotion. While Korea and Taiwan suppressed or co-opted potential challengers from the countryside, such actors in Pakistan and Turkey effectively challenged the developmental state in the mid-1970s. We suggest that the politics of developmental state persistence are analytically distinct from the origins of developmental states, thus enabling a more dynamic understanding of the relationship between the politics of developmental state institutions and late industrialization.


Developmental state Late industrialization Pakistan Turkey South Korea Taiwan 



We would like to thank Pradeep Chhibber, Douglas Fuller, Peter Kingstone, Bill Kissane, Ken Shadlen, Pon Souvanneseng, participants in the South Asian Politics Colloquium at UC Berkeley and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. Errors are entirely our own.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.India Institute and Department of War StudiesKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceBrooklyn CollegeBrooklynUSA

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