The concept of the developmental state emerged to explain the rapid growth of a number of countries in East Asia in the postwar period. Yet the developmental state literature also offered a theoretical approach to growth that was heterodox with respect to prevailing approaches in both economics and political science. Arguing for the distinctive features of developmental states, its proponents emphasized the role of government intervention and industrial policy as well as the significance of strong states and particular social coalitions. This literature blossomed into a wider approach, firmly planted in a much longer heterodox tradition, that explored comparisons with states that were decidedly not developmentalist, thus contributing to our historical understanding of long-run growth. This Element provides a critical but sympathetic overview of this literature and ends with its revival and a look forward at the possibility for developmentalist approaches, both in the advanced and developing world.