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Transformation of the South Korean State: Structural Changes of the State after the 1997 Financial Crisis


  • Bum-Soo Chon

    (Korea National Open University)

  • Erick Duchesne

    (State University of New York at Buffalo)

  • Sunhyuk Kim

    (Korea University)


The entire process of Korean economic development in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s demonstrated the possibility of economic development in the third world. The 1997 financial crisis led many to affirm that the Korean state had lost its ability to deal with domestic economic and welfare policies. Using Cerny's three "shifts" in the character and nature of the welfare state, this paper examines changes in the Korean state after the economic crisis and assess whether globalization and neo-liberal economic restructuring have resulted in the emergence of a new type of state in Korea. The results suggest that although globalization undermines the economic and political conditions on which the developmental state was based, there is no indication that the developmental interventionist state, which had been a crucial feature of Korea's industrialized process over the past few decades, has actually weakened. Rather, as compared with previous regimes, the state has become more powerful and more interventionist. Despite a convergence in national economic policies toward the economic paradigm of the competition state, there are still unique domestic responses to globalization according to different national economic ideologies and past practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bum-Soo Chon & Erick Duchesne & Sunhyuk Kim, 2004. "Transformation of the South Korean State: Structural Changes of the State after the 1997 Financial Crisis," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20042, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20042

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cerny, Philip G., 1995. "Globalization and the changing logic of collective action," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 595-625, September.
    2. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1999. "Reforming the Global Economic Architecture: Lessons from Recent Crises," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1508-1522, August.
    3. N/A, 1996. "Note:," Foreign Trade Review, , vol. 31(1-2), pages 1-1, January.
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    More about this item


    South Korea; financial crisis; globalization; models of economic development;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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