Introduction: The Birth Of The State

Stein Ringen, Huck-Ju Kwon, Ilcheong Yi, Taekyoon Kim and Jooha Lee

in The Korean State and Social Policy

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734351
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895373 | DOI:

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Introduction: The Birth Of The State

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Korean economic development has been, as is well known, state-led. However, to make sense of that established wisdom, we need to understand in some detail how that state has worked and what kind of leadership it has provided. Very early, social policy became an indispensible instrument of the Korean state. This chapter proposes to disentangle some of its intricate complexities through the prism of social policy and by this avenue to have our say towards a resolution of the two great Korean mysteries. This leads on to an analysis of the combined use of hard and soft power on the part of authoritarian and democratic governments in the period 1945 – 2000.

Keywords: social policy; state analysis; political history; authoritarianism; democracy; development; Asia; East Asia; Korea

Chapter.  6291 words. 

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