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Economic Nationalism and the Korean Developmental State: The Development of Korea’s Automobile Industry under the Park Chung Hee Regime

  • Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Abbr : JAPS
  • 2020, 27(4), pp.163-193
  • DOI : 10.18107/japs.2020.27.4.006
  • Publisher : Institute of Global Affairs
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Received : November 10, 2020
  • Accepted : December 15, 2020
  • Published : December 30, 2020

Park Sang-young 1

1한국교원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the ways in which economic nationalism shaped the policy-making of the Korean developmental state by focusing on the development of Korea’s automobile industry under the Park Chung Hee regime. Underscoring such nationalistic goals as an “independent” and “self-reliant” economy, the Park regime strongly pushed export-first policies and the nurturing of internationally competitive “national champions.” In policy-making on the automobile industry, the Park regime’s nationalistic policy orientation was reflected in the implementation of the 1973 Long-Term Plan for the Promotion of the Automobile Industry, which stipulated the manufacturing of Korea’s first original “people’s car” model under national ownership. Furthermore, the influence of economic nationalism was substantial in the state’s policy-making, championed by top policy-makers in both the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Presidential Secretariat. This paper also argues that Korea’s economic nationalism can be considered a “defensive economic nationalism,” which sought “power-as-autonomy” while embracing an “elite-oriented” approach with a focus on the promotion of wealth in an aggregate national sense.

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