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'OVERDEVELOPED' STATE AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE 1950s: A REINTERPRETATION

Chung-in Moon and Sang-young Rhyu
Asian Perspective
Vol. 23, No. 1 (1999), pp. 179-203
Published by: Lynne Rienner Publishers
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42704200
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'OVERDEVELOPED' STATE AND THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE 1950s: A REINTERPRETATION
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Abstract

This study is designed to explore the nature of historical continuity and the overdeveloped state thesis in a critical matter, to recast the dynamics of political society in the 1950s focusing on the Liberal Party. This article argues that the state in the 1950s was in no way overdeveloped. On the contrary, it was fragmented, underdeveloped, and powerless, being seized by political society. Power rested with political society that was culminated in the Liberal Party. And the First Republic presents a deviation or a detour from the colonial lineage of institutional development in South Korea, thus posing a major puzzle to the thesis of historical continuity. The political economy of the 1950s offers an important clue to the rise of the developmental state in the 1960s and afterward. Park Chung Hee crafted the model of developmental state not simply because of his Japanese ethos and emulation of the colonial administrative system, but because of learning from failures of overdeveloped political society, underdeveloped state, and subsequent political and economic failures.

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