The institutional rise of the chaebols throughout South Korea's transitional vulnurabilities
Barma, Naazneen H.
Weiner, Robert J.
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This thesis is a case study of South Korea's contemporary political economic history through the lens of the balance between the state and big business. It examines the evolving relationship between the state and the chaebols, or domestic conglomerates, which is at the heart of the Korean trajectory of postwar industrialization and growth. The thesis proposes that the political transitions over the past 50 years, both authoritarian and democratic, were central markers for the shifting balance between the state and the chaebols. The 3rd and 4th Republics under Park Chung-hee marked the initiation of the state-chaebol partnership: monopolization of the market began during Chun Doo-hwan's authoritarian transition; and the inauguration of South Korea's liberal democracy allowed the chaebols to establish themselves as a durable national institution both prior to and after the 1997 IMF crisis. Thus, over time, the state-business balance tilted in favor of the chaebols and the formation of this business oligarchy created detrimental market conditions that corroded political, economic, and social institutions. The conclusion provides a summary of South Korea's unique market institutional impacts and the lessons learned from the research.
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.The title contained a misspelling of the word "Vulnerabilities.: This has been corrected and a re-issue statement has been added.
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