Building Modern States: Industrialization in Norway and Malaysia
thesisposted on 2023-01-11, 12:58 authored by Leighton Vivian
This thesis sets out to apply a corrective to the views that modern state development is a result of war-making or solely a consequence of global capitalism. These and other perspectives on the state and its modern development have rarely directly engaged with industrialization as a unique form of economic change and as imperative to modern state development. Theories on the developmental state have come closest to identifying how industrialization as a process impacts upon and shapes state development. Industrialization has been the major imperative for the development of the modern Norwegian and Malaysian states in the twentieth century. Industrialization gave rise to powerful social organizations representing a range of interests. As industrial development proceeded, these organizations orientated toward the state. In turn, institutions of the modern state emerged and developed around the industrialization process and the problems and changes it produced. In both case studies, the state also managed industrialization as a political project. This project was carried out by the state attempting to variously regulate, direct or manage the key components of the industrialization process. These components included foreign investment, the banking sector and labour relations. Industrialization saw the state extend its control into areas of banking, capital flows and relations between key social groups. Modern state development in the twentieth century must be understood as a result of industrialization as an economic process and a political project by the state. Perspectives on modern state development must qualify accounts of war-making and capitalism to construct a more variable model. An approach that identifies key organizations as powerful social actors, must in addition understand the modern state as a powerful actor also. Industrialization builds the modern state with its many sites of power that increases regulation and management of economic processes.