Changes by Competition: The Evolution of the South Korean Developmental State

ISBN : 9780198866060

Hyeong-ki Kwon
224 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Feb 2021
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By tracing the evolution of South Korean state-led capitalism and comparing it with other economies, this book critiques prevalent theories including neoliberalism, the developmental state, and institutionalism, and proposes a theoretical alternative focusing on endogenous changes through elites' competition within and outside the state. Unlike the arguments of neoliberals, this volume asserts that the state can still play an active role in reconstituting the national economy through globalization. The Korean state successfully fosters economic growth by nurturing industrial commons through globalization, rather than by adopting a neoliberal free-market system. This volume exerts that the Korean economy has successfully grown over the past 50 years because it has moved toward a new version of state-led developmentalism. In order to better account for the evolution of state-led developmentalism, this book proposes changes by competition within, as well as outside, the state, in order to bring about changes in developmentalism and the ability to adjust to new contexts. Unlike prevalent accounts of developmental state theory, Changes by Competition argues that the state is neither unitary nor cohesive, but a locus of competition.


1 Introduction to The Evolution of the South Korean Developmental State'
2 Locating Korea from a Comparative Perspective
3 Locating Korea Historically
4 The Classical Developmental State in Korea
5 Transition I: Liberalization in the Chun Doo-hwan Administration
6 Transition II: The Roh and Kim administrations
7 Asian Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Capitalism
8 Continuation of Developmentalism across Administrations
9 Generalization through Comparison

About the author: 

Hyeong-ki Kwon is Professor of Political Science at Seoul National University. His research interests are changes of national economies in the course of globalization, including the US, Germany, Japan, Ireland, and Korea. His publications include Fairness and Division of Labor in Market Societies (2004) and articles in major journals including Comparative Political Studies, Politics & Society, Theory and Society, Comparative European Politics, Contemporary Politics, and Economic and Industrial Democracy.

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