The Political Economy of Development and Environment in Korea

The Political Economy of Development and Environment in Korea

The Political Economy of Development and Environment in Korea

The Political Economy of Development and Environment in Korea

Synopsis

This book looks at Korea's economic, social and spatial development processes from the early Modernization period to the financial crisis of 1997. The authors give a comprehensive view of both Korea's economic miracle and recent problems.

Excerpt

The year 1997 proved a turning point in Korea's modern history. the unprecedented financial crash and ensuing crisis led to a currency collapse and, by November, chain bankruptcies had left the Korean government little alternative but to appeal to the International Monetary Fund. After thirty years of spectacular but often turbulent growth, Korea's peculiar state-orchestrated economy had finally run up against the buffers. the pundits of globalisation had completely failed to prepare us for the debacle of Korea, Thailand and Indonesia in 1997, and, naturally, the impact of economic collapse was felt far beyond Asia. in the poorer regions of the uk, for instance, much heralded Korean electronics factories such as the Lucky Goldstar (LG) plant in Wales, and Hyundai in Scotland, were immediately put on hold.

Korea's meteoric economic transformation from war-devastation in the 1950s to prosperous industrial nationhood had not been without considerable internal tension. the causes lie deep within the nation's body politic. the newly industrialising country (NIC) literature is wide-ranging; until recently, however, it was the protagonists of the free market who were dominant in explication (Chen 1979, Balassa 1981). Interpretations from the left were marginalised largely because dependency theory was unable to account for the nic phenomenon. But in the 1990s there was a reassessment from all sides of the political divide regarding the contribution of state institutions, and of external political-economic pressures in shaping the development of late industrialising nations such as Taiwan, Singapore and Korea (Henderson and Appelbaum 1992, Henderson 1993a, 1993b, Amsden 1989, Luedde-Neurath 1988, 1993). Analysis has dwelt on the distortion of 'free markets'; as Amsden states for the Korean case, the state wilfully 'got the prices wrong' in order to stimulate growth (Amsden 1989, p.14).

A division in approach has emerged within the growing body of dissident thinking on supra-national political economy. There are on the one hand those of the 'world systems' and 'globalist' persuasion who place emphasis on the larger, extra-national forces at play (Cumings 1988, Dicken 1993, Lipietz 1987). On the other hand, often conversely, there are those

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.