Unsuccessful Developmental States: Characteristics and Causes of Fiasco


  • Дмитрий Герчановский
Keywords: development, modernization, developmentalism, the state, developmental state, unsuccessful developmental state


[In Russian]

The identification of the causes and major traits as well as trajectories of unsuccessful developmental states becomes highly relevant in contemporary ideologically laden debates among social scientists who have been grappling with the dichotomy “developmentalism vs neo-liberalism” for several decades. It allows getting an adequate understanding of the gist of contemporary sociological and political-economic discourse on development models, transformations of modernity and its features on the post-Soviet space. Thus, looking at the experience of unsuccessful developmental states is no less important than analyzing success stories.
Academic literature discussed in the paper allows us to emphasize the first factor of the successful developmental state − a capable and autonomous bureaucracy which is at the same time embedded into the society. The Soviet bureaucracy was isolated from the society; Indian, Brazilian and Irish bureaucracies have been relatively weak and thus not very effective and adequate while tackling the challenges that these states have faced. However, historical examples of successful diffusion of technological innovation and institutional  models suggest the possibility of building of the developmental state in non-Asian civilizational and non-authoritarian political contexts. Achieving this goal is possible only if the ruling  establishment experiences a “shock therapy” threatening its privileged position in a society, cultivation of competent and capable bureaucracy, as well as the formation of the rational voters, capable of long-term calculation of their interests.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Герчановский, Д. (2016). Unsuccessful Developmental States: Characteristics and Causes of Fiasco. Topos, (2-3), 84-97. Retrieved from https://journals.ehu.lt/index.php/topos/article/view/261