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Developmental States in Africa?: A Review of Ongoing Debates and Buzzwords

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laura RoutleyORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2014.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article reviews the literature concerning the emergence of developmental states in Africa and gives an overview of debates on the usefulness of the ‘East Asian model’ for sub-Saharan Africa. The conclusion highlights how historic developmental states were often the product of trial and error rather than a grand plan; the concept of a developmental state therefore often works less as a model and more as a ‘buzzword’ with its own uses and effects.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Routley L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Development Policy Review

Year: 2014

Volume: 32

Issue: 2

Pages: 159-177

Print publication date: 01/03/2014

Online publication date: 03/02/2014

Acceptance date: 01/12/2012

Date deposited: 01/04/2014

ISSN (print): 0950-6764

ISSN (electronic): 1467-7679

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/dpr.12049


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