VOL. 1, NO. 3, PGS. 34–45


The Developmental State
Towards a New Concept
Judit Ricz and Barnabás Szabó

Judit Ricz is a Researcher at the Institute of World Economy of the Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Barnabás Szabó is a PhD student at the Central European University.

This translation has been automatically generated and has not been verified for accuracy.

The new challenges of the 21st century, in particular the economic and financial crisis of 2008-2009, have revitalised the debate on the concept of developmentalism and state interventionism. The classical developmental state model of the 20th century, based on the experiences of East Asian countries, has lost its validity and is neither applicable nor adaptable to the challenges of the present. A new concept of the developmental state, which breaks with the historical-geographical limitations of the classical paradigm, is therefore necessary. Although not all issues related to this new concept have been resolved, there is already a consensus among economic policy practitioners as to what its most important elements are. It is generally held that there is no single developmental state model that can be universally applied and that development strategies depend on circumstances.

The classic model

In press articles, political statements and academic publications, the term “developmental state” is often used without its meaning being stated, although it is generally assumed that the phrase implies, in general terms, the active intervention of the state in the economic affairs of the country. For Chalmers Johnson1, who coined the term to explain Japan’s economic policies between 1925 and 1975, the “developmental state” is a planned and rational capitalist model of development in which the state actively intervenes to achieve important socio-economic goals.

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