The proliferation of global value chains and production networks (GVCs/GPNs) has significantly altered the complexion and complexity of international trade. Much research fervor has been generated to examine the economic organization and spatial dispersion of transnational production, with particular emphasis on firms. However, politics and the role of the state in GVCs/GPNs are often neglected. This dissertation thus advances existing research by exploring the political economy of GVCs/GPNs with states as the focal point. In addition, I base my work largely on the regions of Northeast and Southeast Asia, given the regions’ strategic state-led developmentalism and meteoric rise as a global manufacturing hub. I first examine the Asian developmental state model and the evolution of state-business relations within these states as they move up the value chain using large-n statistical analysis. I then investigate the dynamics of state-business partnerships through a comparative case study analysis of eight Asian countries. Finally, I explore the propagation of shocks in production networks and the role of Asian developmental states during a global economic crisis, using network analysis and agent-based modeling. Overall, I find that Asian developmental states moving up the GVC tend to develop tighter linkages with businesses through strategic and aggressive industrial policies and innovation partnerships. Moreover, in times of crisis, Asian developmental states help to mitigate the impact of economic shocks through economic policies, strategy and political will. Consequently, rather than being static, Asian developmental states have been adaptive to changing global circumstances, tailoring policies to suit their local conditions.