S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Journal of International and Area Studies (JIAS) Journal of International and Area Studies vol.21 (2014)
Varieties of East Asian Developmentalist Trade Policy: The Trade Liberalization-Industrial Policy Nexus in Thailand and South Korea
- Issue Date
- Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
- Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.21 No.2, pp. 1-25
- East Asian developmental state ; free trade agreement (FTA) ; South Korea ; Thailand ; industrial policy
- This study explores the varieties of East Asian developmentalist trade policy by analyzing Thailands and South Koreas pursuit of free trade agreements (FTAs). Thailand and South Korea offer a nice laboratory to test a neoliberal vs. developmental perspective. After Prime Minister Thaksin took office in 2001, Thailand became a pacesetter in East Asias pursuit of FTAs with its policy nexus of developmentalism and liberalism. However, the lack of institutionalization of trade policy-making process soon led Thaksins CEO-style leadership and pro-business policy bias to cronyism and corruption. In contrast to Thailands abrupt move from developmental liberalism to sectoral cronyism, South Korea has successfully institutionalized its transition from developmental mercantilism to developmental liberalism by strengthening the key trade agency—i.e., the Office of the Minister for Trade, which successfully embedded its industrial policy goals in liberal trade initiatives.
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