Focuses on the paradox of development in the newly industrializing country of South Korea.
This book debunks the rosy success story about South Korean economic development by analyzing how the state and businesses formed an alliance, while excluding labor, in order to attain economic development, and how these three entities were transformed in the process. The author analyzes the paradox of South Korean development from 1960 to 1990—a period during which the country experienced dramatic social, economic, and political changes. By reexamining South Korea's development through the collaboration and conflict between the state and the chaebol (big businesses), she illuminates the inherent limitations and problems of the developmental state.
Eun Mee Kim is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California.
"…Kim succeeds in telling a non-neoclassical story of economic success in South Korea. She skillfully highlights the developmental importance of recognizing the long-term roles of the neo-classical features required in individual state and business institutions, but, also, she recognizes the importance of admitting that institutional change is gradual and not instantaneous. " — H-Net Reviews (H-Business)
"Among the many books that have been written on Korea's "economic miracle," none does a better job than this one of chronicling the growth of the giant industrial conglomerates that have come to dominate the Korean economy and setting out the evolution of their relations to the state. Eun Mee Kim harnesses an unusually rich set of data to a nicely nuanced analysis of the changing structure of business-state relations in Korea. Anyone trying to understand the dynamics of East Asian industrialization needs to read Big Business, Strong State. " — Peter Evans, University of California, Berkeley
"Big Business, Strong State is an important book on an important subject. Based on careful empirical research, Eun Mee Kim analyzes the changing roles of state and business conglomerates in the dramatic development of South Korea that within a generation turned one of the world's poorest countries into an industrial society. Kim illuminates the Korean story by discussing it in a comparative context, and she identifies critical unresolved issues in Korea's future. " — Dietrich Rueschemeyer, Asa Messer Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Development at Brown University
"A timely and highly informative book on the rise of Korean big business, not simply as an economic power but as a potent rival to state power. This book adds a sociopolitical dimension to the literature on South Korean development by focusing on the ironies and contradictions of the developmental process. An important contribution to the growing literature on the political economy of South Korean industrialization. " — Hagen Koo, University of Hawaii, Manoa
"This is a great book. It stimulates debate about big business and big government. An important contribution in the field. " — Alice Amsden, Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Political Economy, MIT