The Political Economy of South Korean Long-Term Development

JCA has published many articles that examine the industrial development that has taken place in South Korea in recent decades.

The most recent is by Nicolas Grinberg of SOAS who uses a Marxist lens to re-evaluate this development. The abstract for the article states:

This article analyses the process of economic development and associated political transformations in South Korea since the mid-1960s. It claims that, as in the rest of East Asia, capital accumulation in South Korea has revolved around the production of specific industrial goods for world markets using the relatively cheap and highly disciplined local workforce for simplified labour processes, as appendages of the machine or in manual assembly operations. This modality of accumulation resulted from changes in the forms of production of relative surplus value on a global scale through the development of computerisation and robotisation, and the concomitant transformation in the productive attributes of the collective worker of large-scale industry. The article identifies the main characteristics of the political and economic relations through which the structural transformation of the Korean society came about throughout the period studied, as a form of realising the global unity of the process of capitalist development. This analysis not only supports the claims made about the specific characteristics of the East Asian processes of capitalist development. It also shows the intrinsic unity of seemingly diverse political-economy processes, as forms of realisation of the transformations of Korean society.

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