Globalization reigns supreme as a description of recent economic transformation—and it carries many meanings. In the policy realm, the orthodox terms of engagement have been enshrined in the "Washington consensus." But disappointing results in Latin America and transitional economies—plus the Asian financial crisis—have shaken the faith in Washington and elsewhere. One response has been to hark back to the more statist policies that the consensus marginalized. In this regard, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are promoted as the poster nations that have derived great benefits from increasing integration with the international economy, without surrendering national autonomy in the economic or cultural spheres, effectively beating the West at its own game.
The fundamental questions addressed in this monograph are whether industrial policy was indeed a major source of growth in these three economies, and if so, can it be replicated under current institutional arrangements, and if so, is it worth replicating, or, would developing countries today be better off embracing the suitably refined orthodoxy?