The Development State Model

1827 Words 8 Pages
It is widely accepted that the features of the developmental state model played a vital role in East Asian states, guiding them to historically unprecedented industrial transformation, and it is unanimously agreed upon that the developmental state model was successful in economic growth of the East Asian countries such as Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. However, the puzzle we have to solve is whether the developmental state model delivers development without limitation, or if the model is doomed to failure once the industrial catch up has been achieved. This essay will briefly elucidate the features of the developmental state model for their success in the developing phase of an economy and compare the differences with the current model drawing close …show more content…
So what made Korea that orchestrated the rapid industrialization and economic growth from one of the poorest countries to one of the most leading countries in technology? We need to examine the features of the developmental state model that Korea incorporated, as well as other East Asian countries. According to Onis (1991), Korea, Taiwan, and perhaps Japan (although Japan had a stable democracy, they had one party in control throughout post WWII era by Liberal Democratic Party) started with an authoritarian government who “focused on long term economic goals in order to compete with communism and other security threats posed on East Asian nations” (Onis, 1991). This is one of the key factors of the ‘East Asian miracle’ where the countries needed an elite state bureaucracy to “identify and choose the industries to be developed” and to “supervise competition in the designated strategic sectors” through state intervention (Johnson, 1999). The state intervention in the market was successful, because the interest of both the state and the private sectors was aligned and was well supported with insulated pilot agencies sitting at the top of the economic bureaucracy, which was one of the cornerstone of the developmental state model. The countries’ first priority was to focus on the long-term economic transformation through undertaking strategic industry …show more content…
The period of his governance, from 1961 to 1979, was the “key period in which South Korea propelled itself out of its third world status and transformed into a bustling industrialized economy in record time.” (Kim, E.M., 2010). The principals during Park’s regime was “private ownership of industry, state control of finance, state planning, and maintenance of low wages in spite of an expanding economy.” (Kim, E.M., 2010). The authoritarian governance may have succeeded in the growth of the whole economy with focused goals but South Korea’s rise to being riches came with a cost in terms of “suppression of democracy and curtailment of civil liberties”, which triggered the labour movements, and the way that Park reacted to it made the public to be aware of the oppressive nature of his regime. It seemed to end when Park was assassinated in 1979, but soon after in 1980, Chun Doo Hwan was sworn in as a president followed by several quasi-coups in the military to take over. Although it didn’t last long when they finally became democratized in 1987, the main point is that authoritarian government is to some extent, a dispensable feature of the developmental state as it leads to inequalities and will cause an urge for democracy. However, it is still accepted that the authoritarian rule

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