* Embedded Autonomy
** Embeddedness: Government agencies cannot effectively involve themselves in economic matters without obtaining detailed information from non-governmental actors
** Autonomy: The importance of government agencies being independent of private interests
* Comparative Institutional Method – Premised on the belief that developmental outcomes depend on both the general character of state structures and the roles that states pursue. Structure matters, but so does intention.
Summary: Evans’ argument revolves around the importance of the state in fostering development. For Evans, the bureaucracy requires autonomy from society, but also a degree of embeddedness if it is to contribute to development. He argues that the state can play four major roles in the economy: custodian (protection, policing, regulation); midwife (birthing new enterprises in specific sectors); husbandry (teaching, cultivating and nurturing entrepreneurial forces); and demiurge (becoming directly involved in productive activities).
Important Insight: State and society can be mutually beneficial in achieving development outcomes. Speaks to the debate surrounding the role of states in markets (see [Developmental State], for example).
Methodology: Evans tests his theory through an examination of existing literature as well as three detailed case studies (Korea, Brazil and India) using what he calls a ‘comparative institutional approach’. For his case studies, Evans focuses exclusively on the IT industry.
Critique: The notion of ’embeddedness’ is loosely defined – to a certain extent, all bureaucracies are embedded… Also, it’s difficult to see how much autonomy and how much embeddedness is needed, it seems to be that in the places which were successful, they got the mix right…
More notes coming (as soon as I can dig up my papers from a few years ago)