A Tale of Two Tigers?
Growth, Public Policy and Regional Models in Ireland and Malaysia
November 20, 2007By Su-ming Khoo
What exactly constitutes 'good governance' in a highly globalized economy? Developmental state theory suggests that high-growth "tiger" economies have "developmental" features and capabilities that other states lack, allowing them to govern the market and strategically promote capitalist development. This paper engages in a comparative analysis of the developmental state in Ireland and Malaysia. It presents an overview of development policies in two "tiger" economies—Ireland in the European region and Malaysia, in the Southeast Asian region. It compares the role of the two developmental states in directing economic policy and structural transformation and examines how their development policies are socially embedded. The comparative study of these two cases is located within a broader framework of critical global political economy. Aside from questions of developmental effectiveness, the key analytical question is about developmental inclusiveness—what is the nature of the developmental state's social contract. Furthermore, it asks how the nationalist developmental social contract has been impacted by regional and global reconfigurations of recent decades.
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