Journal Article

IDS Bulletin 37.4

Towards a Democratic Developmental State

Published on 1 October 2006

If the 1980s saw the rise of a new orthodoxy about the developmental role of states, the early 1990s have seen the rise of a new orthodoxy about the developmental role of political regimes. The former criticised the developmental states of the postcolonial era for excessive economic dirigisme, advocating a reduction in their role and a freeing up of markets and private enterprise along neo-liberal lines.

The latter extended this to a critique of political dirigisme, emphasising the developmental deficiencies of authoritarian regimes as well as their denial of human rights and civil freedoms and advocating a transition to democracy along liberal lines.

By the mid-1990s, these two critiques have coalesced into a comprehensive strategic vision of both political and economic probity, according to which development can best be promoted through a market-friendly state presiding over a predominantly capitalist economy operating within the political ‘shell’ of a liberal democratic polity.

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IDS Bulletin 37.4

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White, G. (2006) Towards a Democratic Developmental State. IDS Bulletin 37(4): 60-70

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Gordon White

Publication details

IDS Bulletin, volume 37, issue 4