Korea’s New Techno-Scientific Strategy: Realigning State, Market and Society to Move Beyond Technological Catch-Up

  • Jitendra Uttam


Being a late-late industrializing country, Korea carefully designed a unique model of technological catch-up led by a ‘developmental state’ (Johnson 1982) and spearheaded by chaebol. The model became operational in two distinct but mutually reinforcing phases: first, an imitation-driven GRI System based on reverse engineering of foreign technologies; and second, a chaebol-led, private sector funded system of corporate R&D. During both phases, an uninterrupted inflow of foreign technology to Korea was supported by Cold War era ‘strategic constraints’ to maintain the U.S.-led ‘alliance system’ aimed at containing the perceived Soviet threat. The dynamic interplay between foreign technology and indigenous R&D efforts paved the way for Korea to substantially bridge its technological divide with the developed world, particularly in the manufacturing sector.1 Korean products from ships to chips, from computers to semiconductors acquired global recognition. Reflecting fierce competition with technologically advanced economies, the R&D budget of Korea has witnessed a phenomenal rise2.


Reverse Engineering Developmental State Semiconductor Industry Dynamic Random Access Memory Foreign Technology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for East Asian Studies, School of International StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

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