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Crisis, regime change, and development: a quantitative analysis of South Korean political transformation 1945~1987

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Kim, Suk Joon

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Graduate School of Public Administration, Seoul National University
Korean Journal of Policy Studies, Vol.2, pp. 67-87
A series of crises in Korea induced regime changes which conditioned the nature of the subsequent
regimes. Under a crisis situation, the pattern of interplay of world system, class, and state conditioned
the following state. Crisis occurs due to the gap between state and society. Due to its nature
as a security state, the gap was reduced by state's repression by security institutions except in the
case of the April Revolution. The world security system has played a key role to the rise of the
Syngman Rhee's serurity regime under the identity crisis, while social class played a crucial role in
its fall and the rise of the Chang regime under import-substitution industrialization and legitimation crises. Since then, the military as a major state institution has played a key role both in political
and economic arenas by establishing a neo-mercantile security state. Korea's contradictory development
is the consequence of the neo-mercantile security state rather than being explained by bureaucratic
authoritarian model, dependendent development, or statist theories: its enhanced economic capacity
produced an "economic miracle," while its security capacity facilitated political underdevelopment.
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