This chapter aims to establish a theoretical framework for examining the nexus between labour, the international political economy, and processes of developmental state formation. It proceeds by first examining the recent literature on labour and globalisation, which has explicitly sought to elucidate the impact of globalisation on workers' wages, working conditions, and the organisational strength of labour. The chapter proposes Antonio Gramsci's understanding of state formation as a moment of passive revolution in conditions of the uneven and combined development of capitalism. Gramsci's framework thus represents an approach that is more suitable for examining the historical emergence of the developmental state in East Asia and its proactive role in establishing labour regimes conducive to catch-up industrialisation. Gramsci's analysis of Italian state formation in the shadow of the spread of capitalist social relations along with the geopolitical event of the French Revolution in spurring nineteenth-century state formation.