State, chaebol and the privatisation of aid

Dangerous Liaisons? State-Chaebol Co-operation and the Global Privatisation of Development” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1501806) is a new article at the publisher’s website, authored by Juliette Schwak of the Institute for International Strategy, Tokyo International University, Japan.

The abstract states:

This article analyses the relationships between private and public sectors in shaping the South Korean development assistance agenda. Since 2008, subsequent Korean administrations have made development assistance a keystone of their foreign policy. Fast growing middle-income countries seem to be favourite development partners for these administrations and the parallel increase in the overseas expansion of Korean chaebol in these developing partner markets suggests that interactions between private economic interests and development assistance exigencies have been numerous. Based upon fieldwork on Korean development assistance, this article shows that Korean conglomerates are both informally and structurally included in decision-making processes as a result of the specific governance architecture inherited from the developmental state era. But recently, since its accession to the Development Assistance Committee in 2010, Korea has also been institutionalising private actors’ inclusion in official development assistance delivery mechanisms. This should be understood as part of a global agenda that has increasingly privatised development formulation and delivery. The inclusion of chaebol in official development assistance through institutional mechanisms might actually be more aligned with Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development norms than the existing literature suggests.

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