The Politics of a Miracle: Class Interests and State Power in Korean Developmentalism

  • Vivek Chibber


Of all the success stories of post-war economic history, perhaps none is as remarkable as Korea’s extraordinary ascent in the world economy. Its success is all the more remarkable, in that, as recently as 1960, the country was on the verge of being abandoned by international experts and policy advisors as an irredeemable basket-case. Less than two decades after, it was already becoming an object of intense scrutiny, only now as a shining success story in Third World development. Not surprisingly, given that its entrance into academic debates came around the time of the debt crisis and the turn toward neoliberal orthodoxy in the West, the Korean experience was initially appropriated as a vindication of free-market orthodoxy (Chen 1979; Lal 1983; Linder 1986). But within a few years the neoliberal interpretation was subjected to withering critiques. A new, revisionist interpretation of the Korean ‘miracle’ was offered, based on intensive empirical examination of actual policy, and buttressed by an impressive battery of case studies at the level of sector and firm. Led by such scholars as Amsden, Wade, Woo, Rodrik, and others, a counter-orthodoxy emerged. Against the neoliberal insistence that Korean success was based on an adherence to free market principles, revisionists adduced evidence of a massive reliance on state intervention, in virtually every sphere of economic activity.


Marketing Coherence Turkey Posit Trench 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Vivek Chibber 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vivek Chibber

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations