> And the big question is: Why do developmental states work so well in
> East Asia and western Europe, and appear to work so badly (India,
> Argentina, et cetera) elsewhere?
Probably because, to borrow a Marxish phrase, superstructures matter. All the late industrializing stars experienced massive social crisis or conflict, and were located on the borderzones between the battling superpowers. Expropriation at one's doorstep seems to wonderfully concentrate the minds of commercial elites.