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Limits of State Strength: Toward an Institutionalist View of Economic Development

Richard F. Doner
World Politics
Vol. 44, No. 3 (Apr., 1992), pp. 398-431
DOI: 10.2307/2010544
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2010544
Page Count: 34
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Limits of State Strength: Toward an Institutionalist View of Economic Development
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Abstract

Analyses of economic growth have drawn on the experiences of the East Asian newly industrializing countries to highlight the contribution of cohesive and autonomous states in the resolution of market failures. Within an explicit collective action and public goods framework, this article argues for an institutionalist approach to development that incorporates, but also goes beyond, statism. Through an examination of auto manufacturing in five countries in Southeast and Northeast Asia, the article identifies specific collective action problems central to the development process, and it explores limits to the capacities of even strong states to resolve such problems. The article stresses the role of private sectors and joint public-private sector institutions, identifies systematic differences within and among local entrepreneurs with regard to development issues, emphasizes the need for research on factors influencing the supply of institutions; and argues for an approach to development that emphasizes cooperation among domestic interests rather than domination.

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