The East Asian Developmental State is Dead

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Title: The East Asian Developmental State is Dead
Creators: Glassman, Jim
Contributors: Sanders, Courtney
Keywords: East Asia
South Korea
development state
Issue Date: 2011-05-10
Publisher: Ohio State University. Mershon Center for International Security Studies
Series/Report no.: Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Citizenship Speaker Series
Abstract: The East Asian developmental state is dead ... or, better, as it has been conceived by its major neo-Weberian theorists, it never lived. Thus, while some contemporary commentators on East Asian political economy have lamented the decline of the developmental state in key sites of its former dominance, like South Korea, I argue that the developmental state was always a different entity than it was made out to be by those who have promoted it as an alternative to neoliberalism. Examining the case of South Korean chaebol (conglomerates) in the 1960s-70s (the key period of South Korea's "take-off"), I suggest a better characterization of the developmental state is that it was a Cold War-military contractor-developmental state, one whose performance in fomenting rapid economic and industrial growth is not replicable because of the unique geographical-historical circumstance that brought it into being — and is not desirable because of the consequences that this state's performance had for others in East Asia.
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