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Simultaneous Transitions: Democratization, Neoliberalization, and Possibilities for Class Compromise in South Korea


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  • Wonik Kim

    (Department of Political Science, Louisiana State University,

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    The purpose of this paper is to bring class compromise back into the study of South Korean political economy and present it as a possible alternative to the overwhelmingly one-sided neoliberal trajectory in South Korea. The process and conditions under which positive class compromise is acquired are identified in terms of the Polanyi-Gramsci nexus. This perspective suggests that the restoration of state-led developmentalism would be unfeasible under a democratic regime, while the implementation of a purely neoliberal blueprint may lead to unproductive class conflict. Employing this theoretical framework, I examine possibilities for positive class compromise in the context of the simultaneous transitions—democratization and neoliberalization—in South Korea. JEL classification: B5, H7, O53, P5

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Union for Radical Political Economics in its journal Review of Radical Political Economics.

    Volume (Year): 42 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 505-527

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:42:y:2010:i:4:p:505-527

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    Keywords: class compromise; neoliberalism; democratization; developmental state; Polanyi; Gramsci;

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