The Role of Government in Korea’s Economic and Social Transition
Part of the The Political Economy of the Asia Pacific book series (PEAP, volume 13)


The economic growth of the Republic of Korea (hereinafter Korea) remains one of the most remarkable development stories of our time. Its growth was acheived while rapidly reducing poverty and social inequality. How did Korea transform itself from a poor and war-torn society into a modern, industrial democracy in less than 60 years? Korea’s metamorphosis is indeed a rare example of a successful transition from one of the world’s poorest developing countries to a highly sophisticated industrial society—an experience which many developing countries are keen to emulate. This book is designed to recapture the Korean transition by analyzing the institutional foundation of its government and public policies. As will be discussed below, the government of Korea single-mindedly carried out public policies to stimulate economic growth, but the government and public policies have themselves been affected and changed by the process. The contention of this book is that the transition of Korean society and the evolution of the Korean government are the results of two-way interactions. In this context, the book aims to analyze the way in which the dynamics of public administration were shaped within the Korean government and the kinds of public policies and instruments that were adopted to encourage this economic and social development. This analysis will allow a more complete understanding of the economic and social transformation of Korea. Surprisingly, there is a paucity of research on this aspect—a gap which this book seeks to fill.


Korean Government Military Coup Industrial Democracy Local Health Center Executive Leadership 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Public AdministrationSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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