In this article we explore whether South Korea’s long-standing tradition of economic nationalism remains an appropriate development strategy, or whether this approach has been rendered irrelevant by the current wave of neoliberal globalization led by multinational corporations. We examine the changed economic agendas of each Korean regime, with a particular focus on national identity and economic nationalism, mobilized and implemented by the state. We argue that, despite the rapid development of globalization and cosmopolitanism in South Korea, economic nationalism is still prevalent. Korea’s adoption of neoliberal economic activities, such as lifting trade barriers to encourage the inflow of foreign direct investment, was necessary to assist certain areas of the economy. Furthermore, changing the direction of the growth trajectory remains subordinate to the goal of state building. Empirical analysis of results collected from survey data and one-on-one interviews conducted in 2010 help to validate our hypothesis.


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pp. 125-151
Launched on MUSE
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