Chapter

Conclusion: The Anatomy 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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199734351.003.0006

Series: International Policy Exchange Series

Conclusion: The Anatomy Of The State

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In two generations, South Korea metamorphosed from poverty to affluence and from dictatorship to democracy. The story of that transition in the period from 1945 to 2000 starts in state formation and state capacity, moves through early land reform and an associated transformation of the class structure, a rapid thrust to education, a gradual building of a welfare state, and a cultural revolution of self-reliance that incorporated both rural and industrial populations. The state was in periods ruthlessly authoritarian but in governance surprisingly pragmatic in its reliance of co-optation more than command, in particular in relation to non-state actors in the business and voluntarism communities.

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

Chapter.  6520 words. 

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