Publication Date


Document Type

Working Paper


Professor John Hall

Journal of Economic Literature Classification Codes

N15, O11, O25

Key Words

Developmental State, Post-Developmental State, South Korea, Taiwan, Double Movement


This inquiry considers similar yet contrasting patterns in the economic development of South Korea and Taiwan. Taiwan’s developmental state has tended to exhibit ‘softer’ characteristics than South Korea’s. I identify a tendency for when developmental states face crises and then transition forward to a ‘post-developmental state’. This is traced to the internal 'paradox of success' and external pressure of neoliberal globalization. Though these two countries tend to embrace and rely upon neoliberal policies for economic growth, the speed and degree of systemic change register as different. A 1997 financial crisis appears to have goaded South Korea to move quickly through a transition to a neoliberal economy, while Taiwan undertook a relatively gradual transition that offered different outcomes. In the processes of these two transitions, I cannot identify a ‘double movement’ in the Polanyian sense. Relatedly, working classes lacking in power and with uncertain targets to fight— byproducts of a developmental state—appear to dampen the spirit for effective social movements.


© Mina Kim

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