Cover: The Origins of the Developmental State in Taiwan: Science Policy and the Quest for Modernization, from Harvard University PressCover: The Origins of the Developmental State in Taiwan in HARDCOVER

The Origins of the Developmental State in Taiwan

Science Policy and the Quest for Modernization

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Product Details


$68.50 • £54.95 • €61.50

ISBN 9780674027701

Publication Date: 04/30/2008


238 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

3 tables


The idea of the ‘scientific management’ of an economy was discussed everywhere and little practiced anywhere over the course of the twentieth century. One exception is the case of Taiwan’s economic miracle after 1949. Megan Greene shows that this was a Chinese and international endeavor, based on enduring trends in science, technology, and economic planning on the Chinese mainland under Nationalist rule—patterns that reasserted themselves in the People’s Republic after the end of Maoism. To understand better contemporary China’s technocratic inheritance, read this book.—William C. Kirby, Harvard University

A superb work of scholarship and a valuable addition to our knowledge of both China’s and Taiwan’s development. Greene examines the development of state policy toward science and technology, showing how key individuals and state agencies developed and advanced agendas in sometimes unexpected ways. This book is an important contribution to Taiwan studies, Chinese economic history, and the history of science and technology in Taiwan and China.—Murray A. Rubinstein, Baruch College

Greene’s book is more than the history of industrial science policy. It adds nuance and new information to the debate over Taiwan’s economic ‘miracle.’ She expertly analyzes the continuity between Nationalist policies on the mainland and Taiwan, making the book vital to scholars of Republican China and Taiwan, but those who study economic development in Japan and South Korea will find this useful for comparative purposes. Finally, Greene offers a fresh perspective on the Cold War contributions of American aid and advice to Taiwan’s modernization.—Steven Phillips, Towson University

Greene’s tightly argued and fluidly written book fills a major gap in our understanding of the developmental state in Taiwan: the role of state support for science and education. Because the KMT regime was focused primarily on survival and mainland recovery in its early years, it was only under pressure from foreign sources and its own intellectual community that it began to emphasize these key building blocks. Greene’s speculations on the relevance of the Taiwan experience for the developmentalist regime on the mainland are particularly noteworthy.—Thomas B. Gold, University of California, Berkeley

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