No ‘Return to the State’: Dependency and Developmentalism Against Neo-Liberalism
Development in Practice, Volume 18, Number 3, June 2008
Posted: 26 Jan 2014
Date Written: June 1, 2008
In the emerging ‘post-Washington Consensus’ era, neo-liberalism is searching for alternatives that once again emphasise the state. Yet neither Latin American dependencia nor East Asian developmentalism – two development models actually practised ‘on the ground’ – shares the basic assumptions of the liberal, rationalist state. First, there persists a significant ontological divide over the purpose of the state. Developmentalists and dependentists advocate deep, dynamic state agency rather than the hands-off, liberal, ‘night-watchman’ state. Second, development theory has unfolded within a modern liberal framework of science, democracy, the interests of US foreign policy, and increasingly a commitment to poverty alleviation. Dependency and developmentalism reject these neo-liberal benchmarks in the interests of state consolidation and autonomy. The persistence of dependentist and developmentalist understandings of the state precludes a uniform, post-neoliberal reversal in development theory back to the state.
Keywords: Developmentalism, Post-Washington Consensus, Dependency
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation