1st Edition

The Evolution of the Asian Developmental State Hong Kong and Singapore

By J. J. Woo Copyright 2019
    174 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    174 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Many East Asian states have undergone profound economic transformations over the last two decades. Singapore and Hong Kong especially have adapted to shifting economic and technological conditions by transforming themselves into ‘smart developmental states’. In these cities, the proliferation of digital technologies has given rise to new growth sectors and opened up new areas of political contestation within these early proponents of the developmental state model.

    Providing a theoretical and empirical discussion of the Asian developmental state model, the book assesses the evolution of the developmental state model, considers recent developments in the field and evaluates the development state’s continued relevance as a conceptual framework for understanding the politics of economic development. Focusing on digital and technology-enabled economic activities in Hong Kong and Singapore, the author explores the various policies that allow developmental states to stimulate economic growth, ensure organizational coherence, and engage businesses and other stakeholders.

    This book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of political economy and economic development in Asia as well as business professionals and other practitioners.

    Chapter 1 Introduction

    Chapter 2 Developmental States: A Conceptual Overview

    Chapter 3 Singapore Inc.

    Chapter 4 Hong Kong: Administrative Developmental State

    Chapter 5 Becoming Smart Cities

    Chapter 6 Conceptual and Theoretical Implications

    Chapter 7 The Smart Developmental State


    J.J. Woo is Assistant Professor of Singapore and Southeast Asian Politics in the Public Policy and Global Affairs Programme of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From 2016 to 2017, he was Rajawali Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where he worked on policy co-creation in Singapore. Dr Woo received his PhD from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and holds an MSc (International Political Economy) from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.

    "This book provides a much overdue contribution to our understanding of the developmental dynamics of some of Asia’s most celebrated city states: Singapore and Hong Kong. By revisiting the developmental state thesis and analysing the policy challenges posed by the rise of the knowledge economy and the increasing impact of digitization, the author is able to demonstrate how the adoption of smart city strategies is increasingly supplanting traditional approaches to developmental policy, planning and economic management. A timely, thoughtful and innovative book that speaks to students of international political economy, development and policymakers alike." - Darryl S.L. Jarvis, Professor and Head of Department of Asian and Policy Studies, Education University of Hong Kong.