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Neoliberalism, the developmental state and civil society in Korea

journal contribution
posted on 2015-09-01, 00:00 authored by David HundtDavid Hundt
Following the Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s, some scholars predicted that the introduction of neoliberal ideas and policies would result in the definitive passing of the Korean developmental state. Despite these predictions, Korean state elites have retained their influential position as economic managers by, for instance, practicing a revised form of industrial policy. Neoliberal reform has, however, had significant social implications. Rather than neoliberalism acting as a democratising force that curtails the power of the state, this article illustrates that the Korean state has used the reform agenda to justify an expansion of its powers. The state presented itself as an agent capable of resolving long-standing economic problems, and of defending law and order. By doing so, the state reduced the political space available to non-state actors. The article concludes that for some states, neoliberalism is a means of retaining economic and political influence, and that former developmental states may be particularly adept at co-opting elements of civil society into governing alliances.

History

Journal

Asian studies review

Volume

39

Season

September

Pagination

466-482

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1467-8403

Language

eng

Grant ID

Deakin University Central Research Grant Scheme, Grant No. RM 25237.

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, Asian Studies Association of Australia

Issue

3

Publisher

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)