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The Shrimp that Became a Tiger

Transformation Theory and Korea’s Rise After the Asian Crisis

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Bernhard Seliger

South Korea underwent a dramatic change in the last one and a half decades, from being considered a «tiger in trouble» in the wake of the Asian crisis to a showcase of economic development. The judgment of 1998 was itself a complete reversal of the previous enthusiastic reviews of world record-high growth for several decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s. Korea, once considered a shrimp between two mighty whales, Japan and China, veritably made a jump to become a tiger. And, after the steep decline of 1998, this tiger again showed its claws. This book deals not with the causes of the crisis in retrospect, but rather with the implications for the development of a new economic model in South Korea. It argues that the crisis and the following institutional change can best be understood by applying the theory of economic transformation.

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List of Figures ..................................................................................................... 17 List of Tables ...................................................................................................... 19 Abbreviations and Acronyms ............................................................................. 21 Chapter 1: The Economic Crisis in South Korea as a Transformation Crisis of its Political and Economic Culture ................................... 23 1.1 Competing explanations for the economic crisis and the role of transformation theory ............................................................................ 23 1.2 Outline of the book ................................................................................ 24 Part 1: The Institutional Challenge and the Transformation of Transition Theory ..................................................................................................... 31 Chapter 2: Toward a More General Theory of Transformation ........................ 33 2.1 Introduction ........................................................................................... 33 2.2 The development of transition studies – an overview ............................. 34 2.3 The role of heterodox approaches to transformation theory .................. 38 2.4 A reformulation of transformation theory ............................................. 41 2.5 Toward a new research agenda for transformation theory ....................... 46 Chapter 3: Institutional Competition and External Constraints to Transformation ................................................................................ 49 3.1 Introduction ........................................................................................... 49 3.2 The theory of institutional competition – a brief overview ................... 51 3.3 Transformation and institutional competition after 1989 ....................... 54 3.4 EU policies as constraints for EU accession of CEE ................................ 61 3.5 Outlook – some results and an agenda for future research .................... 65 Chapter 4: Area Studies and the Theory of Economic Transformation – from Uneasy Coexistence to Integration? ....................................... 67 4.1 Area studies and social sciences – an uneasy coexistence .................... 67 4.2 The ‘area studies debate’ revisited ........................................................ 68 4.3 A reformulated theory of institutional change as a framework for area-related economic analysis .............................................................. 71 4.4 Conclusion: Toward the integration of area studies and social sciences research ................................................................................... 76 12 Table of Contents Part 2: The Korean Financial and Economic Crisis – a Short Review ............... 77 Chapter 5: A Review of Five Years of...

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