This panel will examine the politics of industrial policy and state-business relations in late developing countries in the 21st century. Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcomed.
Successful industrial policy requires that reciprocal relationships be developed between governments and their capitalist partners. Ensuring their emergence and maintenance is a constant challenge for governments, with a necessity for learning rents to be disciplined in line with industrial policy objectives. Past research indicates that these reciprocal relations appear to result only under relatively rare alignments of interests among state, business, and other interest groups, often forged through a common threat to their survival. Considering widespread political transformation, increased significance of global value chains and foreign investors, as well as the arguable reduction in industrial policy space, many scholars, however, argue that the likelihood of such alignments has become rarer in the 21st century. This panel invites both theoretical and empirical papers that explore new perspectives on how state-business relationships have developed in the 21st century. These papers could explore how state-business relationships have developed across a range of countries, and look for new approaches to the study of business-state relationships, exploring for example issues of informality. They might also analyze how different interest group configurations, varying threats to rulers' political survival, significant institutional change such as democratization, or the propensity of business communities to act as constituencies for regime support or as a power base for oppositional movements influences the emergence of developmental state-business relationships. Finally, papers that shed more light on how foreign actors and transnational politics shape the motivation and capacity of policy makers to introduce and implement effective industrial policies are likewise welcomed.