This chapter suggests that national development in the 21st century is best understood within a larger regional and global context. Globalization is an uneven process and varies by economic activity due to factors such as capital and technology requirements, transportation and labor costs. Global commodity chains have their roots in materialist political economy, more specifically World Systems Theory. More recently, this body of research has paralleled that of Global Value Chains (GVC), which originated in business schools. The global organization of individual industries, however, varies, most commonly due to industry characteristics such as capital needs, technological intensity and rate of innovation, entry and exit barriers, mobility, and regulation. Much of the developmental state literature of the 1980s and 1990s chronicled successful economic development from the 1950s through the 1980s, when global conditions were more open to state interventionism and various paths to industrial transformation.