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Locating Industrial Policy in Developmental Transformation: Lessons from the Past, Prospects for the Future

Ben Fine and Seeraj Mohamed
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Ben Fine: Department of Economics, SOAS University of London
Seeraj Mohamed: Parliamentary Budget Office, South Africa

No 247, Working Papers from Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK

Abstract: What can we learn from structural change of countries that successfully industrialised in the 20th and 21st century? This paper explains that current attempts at economic transformation of the structure of countries’ economies, including industrial development, have to be analysed and understood within the shift to the new, financialised phase of capitalism and the imposition of neoliberal practices, interests and ideologies within countries and on their international economic and financial relations. Rather than reflecting an ideology of the reduction of the role of the state, neoliberalism has entailed the redirection and transformation of the control and role of the state in the provision of welfare, social security, industrial development and deregulation of trade, labour and finance as well as reorientation of both domestic macroeconomic policies and the global financial architecture. The lessons that can be learned from studying late industrialising countries, such as the Asian Tigers, that had achieved relatively high levels of industrial transformation, have to take into account this context, including the analytical reduction, even implosion, of concepts such as development and industrial policy. Further, one has to understand the limitation of current mainstream economics approaches in the context of the redefined and degraded notions of development and the roles of the state that neoliberalism deployed defensively in response to ideas that developmental states played key roles in economic transformations of the late industrialisers. First, we revisit the nature and role of industrial policy. Second, we situate these in relation to one another and what lessons we have learned from the developmental state paradigm and how we might take these lessons forward. And, third, we turn to the relationship between economic and social development. We are mindful, as already suggested, that neoliberalism, as the current stage of capitalism – now longer lasting than its “Keynesian†predecessor – is underpinned by financialisation, something that is increasingly acknowledged across the literature but which needs to be taken into account other than treating finance as one amongst many other factors.

Keywords: Development; Developmental State; Economic Transformation; Financialisation; Industrial Policy; Neoliberalism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G00 H11 O1 P10 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 39
Date: 2022-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ban, nep-fdg, nep-his, nep-hme, nep-hpe, nep-pke and nep-sea
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:soa:wpaper:247

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