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Economic bureaucracy and the South Korean developmental state
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences. Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

South Korea underwent a period of high economic growth which propelled it from low to high income status in just a few decades. Instrumental in this process of rapid industrial transformation was the economic bureaucracy which formulated and implemented policies. This thesis details the role played by bureaucratic organizations in South Korea’s development and how they were able to formulate successful economic policies. In analyzing the economic bureaucracy in South Korea, a framework is used to determine its level of autonomy from special interests as well as the degree of public-private cooperation. The study finds that the high levels of corporate coherence and autonomy from special interests within the economic bureaucracy can partially be ascribed to the meticulously meritocratic recruitment and promotion process which was established prior to the first years of high economic growth. At a higher level of abstraction, the study concludes that South Korea benefited from having a strong imperative to develop its economy due to numerous external and domestic conditions. Although the level of applicability in other contexts is found to be limited, the emergence of a competent and relatively incorrupt bureaucracy remains one aspect which could possibly be reproduced elsewhere.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 38 p.
Keyword [en]
economic development, bureaucratic institutions, developmental state, South Korea, East Asian miracle economies
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-23814OAI: diva2:601204
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
International Social Sciences Programme, specialization Global Studies, 180 credits
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-16 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2013-04-16Bibliographically approved

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