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Course Outline for Political & Economics Developments in Korea

Course Outline for Political & Economics Developments in Korea

Programme: M. Phil
Course No: EA 608
Credits: Three
Course Teacher: Jitendra Uttam


This course aims to examine the trajectory of Korean political economic development and the formation of a distinct variety of capitalism from the perspective of political economy. How Korean capitalism arose and to what pathway it has and will evolve is the basic puzzle of this course. It will cover various topics in international and domestic political economy such as economic growth, international investment, trade, democratization, globalization, economic crisis and reform. In particular, it will reassess the government-business relationship through further case studies of Korean business conglomerates, known as Chaebol. The prime logic behind the course is to encourage students to cultivate their own point of view and conceptual framework regarding Korean political economy. Furthermore, this course also devotes attention to analyze paradigmatic shifts in the political economic developments of North Korea. 



Course Requirements

This is one semester, three-credit course, which requires a mid-term assessment test, one original research paper with innovative ideas and arguments, one class presentation, and a final end semester examination. The process of assessment also takes note of students’ presence in the class lectures, and their active & assertive participation during the presentations.

Evaluation System 

The evaluation of researcher’s performance is purely judged on the basis of academic merit classified under the following heads: 1) Participation, 2) Presentation, 3) Midterm; 4) Term-Paper and 5) Final Examination

List of Contents

To simplify and systematize political economic developments in Korea, this course have categorized list of contents under the following sub-titles based on the major disjunctions in the political economic make-up of the Korean peninsula. List of contents include:  

1. Political Economy of Aid and Reconstruction, 1945~1960

1.1 Korean Peninsula in the International Political Economy  

1.2 U.S Aid and the Post-War Restructuring of Korean Economy

1.3 Korea’s Import-Substitution Industrialization (ISI) Strategy

2. Political Economy of Growth: Promotion of National Capital, 1962~1997

2.1 Debates on Colonial Origins of Korea’s High Economic Growth Phase

2.2 Korea as a Case of Late-Late Industrialization

2.3 Rise of Developmental State and the Reformulation of State-Society Relations

2.4 Paradigm Shift: Instituting Export-Promotion Industrialization (EPI) Strategy

2.5 Nature of Korean Economic Growth: ‘High-Debt, High-Growth Model’

2.6 Korea’s Politics of Repressed Finance

2.7 Impact of Cold War on the Korean Political Economy

2.8 International Political Economy of Korean Economic Development  

2.9 East Asian Developmental Model and Korea

3.0 Defining Korean Capitalism: Organizing from the Top 

3. Political Economy of Crisis: Intervention of Global Capital, 1997~1999

3.1 Debates on Korean Financial Crisis of 1997: Crony Capitalism vs. Mismanaged Financial System Reforms

3.2 Rolling Back of the State in Korea: Neo-Liberalism at Work

3.3 Debates on ‘Post-developmental State’

3.4 Redefining Korea’s Corporate Governance: Reform, Restructuring and Rebound

3.5 Chaebol after the Reform

4. Political Economy of Rebound: Promotion of Global Capital, 2000~Present 

4.1 Korean Corporate Control and the Issues Related to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

4.2 Promotion of Small & Medium Sized Enterprises: Rise of Venture Capitalism in Korea

4.3 Political Economy of Post-Cold War: Korea’s Trade with China and India 

5. Political Economy of Kim Il Sung Era, 1945~1994

5.1 Distinctiveness of North Korean Socialism

5.2 Freezing of the Consciousness: Juchae Ideology

5.3 Political Economy of North Korean Brinkmanship: Nuclear Question  

5.4 Politics of Economic Crisis in North Korea  

6. Political Economy of Post-Kim, Il Sung Era, 1994~present  

6.1 Debates on Transition Economies: Gradualism vs. Shock Therapy Approach 

6.2 Political Economy of Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation: ‘Sun Shine Policy’ in Retrospect 

For Further Reading


  1. Amsden, Alice. 1989. Asia's Next Giant. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.

  2. Chang, Ha-Joon and Robert Rowthorn. 1995. The Role of the State in Economic Change. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

  3. Chang, Ha-Joon and Whittaker D.H. 2001. Financial Liberalization and Asian Crisis. Palgrave Publishers.

  4. Corbo, Vittorio & Suh Sang-Mok (ed). 1992. Structural adjustment in a newly industrialized country: the Korean experience. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  5. Choi, Kwan E., et al., eds. 2003. North Korea in the World Economy, London: RoutledgeCurzon.

  6. Chung, Kui-Lae. 1997. The Economic Influences on Korea's Democratic Development. New York: East Asian Institute, Columbia University.

  7. Cole, David C., and Young Chul Park. 1983. Financial Development in Korea, 1945-1978. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  8. Eckert, Carter J. 1992. Offspring of Empire: The Koch'ang Kims and the Colonial Origins of Korean Capitalism, 1876-1945. Seattle: University of Washington Press.

  9. Evans, Peter, B. 1995. Embedded Autonomy: States and Industrial Transformation. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  10. Fallows, James. 1994. Looking at the Sun: The Rise of the New East Asian Economic and Political System. New York: Pantheon Books.

  11. Fields, Karl J. 1995. Enterprise and the State in Korea and Taiwan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

  12. Frederic C. Deyo, ed. 1987. The Political Economy of New Asian Industrialism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

  13. Gerschenkron, Alexander. 1962. Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  14. Haggard, Stephan, David Kang and Chung-in Moon. 1997. “Japanese Colonialism and Korean Development: A Critique.” World Development, Vol. 25, No. 6.  

  15. Haggard, Stephan. 2000. The Political Economy of the Asian Financial Crisis. Institute for International Economics.

  16. Jacobs, Norman. 1985. The Korean Road to Modernization and Development. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

  17. Kim, Eun Mee. 1997. Big Business, Strong State: Collusion and Conflict in South Korean Development, 1960-1990. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

  18. Koo, Hagen, ed. 1993. State and Society in Contemporary Korea. Ithaca, IL: Cornell University Press.   

  19. Kwon, Huck-ju. 1999. The Welfare State in Korea: The Politics of Legitimation. Houndmills: Macmillan Press & New York: St. Martin's Press.

  20. Lee, Yeon-ho. 1997. The State, Society and Big Business in South Korea. Routledge: London & New York.

  21. Lee, Chong-sik and Se-Hee Yoo. 1991. North Korea in Transition. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies.

  22. Lindauer, David L. et al. 1997. The strains of economic growth: labor unrest and social dissatisfaction in Korea. Cambridge: Harvard Institute for International Development & Seoul: Korea Development Institute.

  23. Macdonald, Donald Stone. 1996. The Koreans: Contemporary Politics and Society. Boulder: Westview Press.

  24. Marcus Noland, 2000. Avoiding the Apocalypse (Washington, D.C.: Institute for International Economics.

  25. Mason, Edward S., Mahn Je, Kim Dwight H. Perkins, Kwang Suk, Kim and David C. Cole. 1980. The Economic and Social Modernization of the Republic of Korea. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

  26. Meredith, Woo-Cumings, ed. 1999. The Developmental State. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.

  27. Rowley, Chris & Bae Johngseok. ed., 1998. Korean Business: Internal and External Industrialization. London: Frank Cass.

  28. Suh, Moon-Gi. 1998. Developmental transformation in South Korea: from state-sponsored growth to the quest for quality of life. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.

  29. Stern, Joseph J. et al. 1995. Industrialization and the state: the Korean heavy and chemical industry drive. Cambridge, MA.: Harvard Institute for International Development & Seoul: Korea Development Institute.

  30. Steers, Richard M., Yoo Keun Shin & Gerardo R. Ungson. 1989. The chaebol: Korea's new industrial might. New York: Harper & Row.

  31. Young Back Choi et al. eds. 2001. Perspectives on Korean Unification, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

  32. Wade, Robert. 1990. Governing the Market: Economic Theory and the Role of Government in Taiwan’s Industrialization. Princeton; rinceton University Press.

  33. Woo, Jung-en. 1991. Race to the Swift: State and Finance in Korean Industrialization. New York: Columbia University Press.


  1. Carlos, Diaz-Alejandro. 1985. “Good-bye Financial Repression, Hello Financial Crash.” Journal of Development Economics, 19 (September-October).

  2. Chang, Ha-Joon and Richard Kozul-Wright. 1994. “Organizing Development: Comparing the National Systems of Entrepreneurship in Sweden and South Korea.” Journal of Development Studies, Vol. 30, No. 4.

  3. Choi, Byung-Sun. 1993. “Financial Policy and Big Business in Korea: The Perils of Financial Regulation,” in Haggard, Stephan, Chung H. Lee and Silvia Maxfield (eds.), The Politics of Finance in Developing Countries. Ithaca: Cornell University press.

  4. Kohli, Atul. 1994. “Where do high growth political economies come from?: The Japanese Lineage of Korea’s Developmental State.” World Development, Vol. 22, No. 9 (September).

  5. Lee, C.H. 1992. “The Government, Financial System, and Large Private Enterprises in the Economic Development of South Korea.” World Development, Vol. 20, No. 2.

  6. Seong Hwan Cha. 2003. “Myth and Reality in the Discourse of Confucian Capitalism in Korea,” Asian Survey, May/June, pp. 485-506

  7. Timothy C. Lim. 2003. “Racing From the Bottom in South Korea,” Asian Survey, May/June, pp. 423-442.

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.