As Taiwan and Korea, both being former colonies of Japan, began to develop over time, their growth exemplified the characteristics of what we term developmental states. These two particular states have exhibited rapid, sustained, export-led growth over a long period of time, with emphasis on the manufacturing and industrial sectors of the economy, as well as education and investment in the future. The state, meaning the government, drives the countries domestic growth by stimulating the economy with investment in successful private sectors who manufacture products. These products are made competitive with those of other countries in the world, and exported in return for consumer goods. This revenue continues to sustain the state, and is monitored and regulated by the government. States such as Taiwan and Korea have effectively implemented government policies and fostered relations between the state itself and the rest of society, particularly the private sectors which control the bulk of capital interests, which are conducive to the project of continued growth and expansion. These policies and the fostered relationship generate a working class capable of and driven toward the goals of the state. While other states have also successfully built themselves up, in similar fashion to Taiwan and Korea, they cannot be considered as developmental states. One such country is Russia, whose growth has stagnated since the end of World War II. Russia did not become a developmental state because it lacked the necessary components of a strong efficient bureaucracy, and its commercial interest were represented by corrupt oligarchies controlling the bulk of the states capital.
[...] As Japan took control of Korea in 1905, and immediately established a heavy- handed, brutally repressive, authoritarian regime geared towards mobilizing and utilizing Korean resources to serve Japanese interests. According to Kohli, Japan colonized Korea as they . sought to control it politically and to exploit it for their own economic advantage” (100). In order to reap full benefit from this exploitation, Japan initially focused on destroying the existing state and replacing it with a colonial one that mimicked Japan's own model of “deliberate development” (Kohli, 101). [...]
[...] Haggard explains that in the case of Korea and Taiwan, there was sustained import substitution, combined with the incentivizing of the export of “light, labor-intensive manufactures” (26). These incentives included subsidies, improvements in technology, and tariffs. Both countries provided incentives for their private industrial sectors such that the transition from primary product exportation to import substitution industrialization was met with stabilization, exchange-rate devaluation, selective import liberalization designed to give exporters access to world imports at world prices, and more targeted supports to exporters” (26). [...]
[...] Author Atul Kohli explains this balance as he references Peter Evans' definition of developmental states, saying that they are described as exhibiting the characteristic of ‘embedded autonomy'; ‘autonomy of bureaucraticized states from social entanglements gives them a capacity to direct social change, and social ‘embeddedness,' in turn, especially the links these states forge with business and industrial classes, enable the states elites to incorporate these powerful groups in the state's economic project” (Kohli, 132). The state has a strong, efficient bureaucracy which remains autonomous, separated from the direct influence of the business and industrial class. [...]
[...] Many farmers with access to arable land produced rice for market to meet the ever-escalating needs of Japanese consumers Thus, agriculture in Taiwan quickly and generally commercialized” (79). This led to the move on the behalf of the deliberately planning government to stimulate agriculture through the implementation of new stratagem and technologies, the essence of which is still in place. For example, the tenancy system was restructured such that a “flat tax on land replaced a proportional tax on output, giving landlords incentive to squeeze more production out of the tenants below them thus, the colonial state set in motion the application of science to farming, which characterizes the rural economy of Taiwan today” (81). [...]
[...] A contrast between the Taiwan and Korea example is that though Taiwan was militarily oriented, its repression of peasants was not as severe as in Korea. However, as we can see from these two examples, the essential aspects of the developmental state are that a strong, central, efficient bureaucracy must be put in place to direct the country away from primary product exportation to export-led growth. This bureaucracy needs to be effective and have systems in place to ensure implementation from the top of the hierarchy downwards. [...]
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