Developmental State

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Technological innovation and the developmental state: China’s transition to an entrepreneurial state?

Technological innovation. The ‘source of energy within the economic system which would of itself disrupt any equilibrium that might be obtained’ (Friedberg, 2013). Not a new concept by any means, innovation-based growth has traditionally been the objective of the developed, advanced countries of the world. However, in an evolving global landscape marked by the emergence of expansive ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ consumer markets, complex global value chains and the increasing importance of knowledge-based productive sectors – technological innovation has become a vital source of growth for developing countries.

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The developmental state: what does it mean for South Africa?

Within the realm of governance and growth studies, there are various theories regarding the role of the state in promoting economic growth and supporting development. One particular theory, which is increasingly popular in South Africa, is the so-called ‘developmental state.’ Originating from a description of the South East Asian growth experience, this term generally refers to a country that is committed to using state institutions to drive economic development or bolster the social welfare of their citizens.

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