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Developmental MindsetThe Revival of Financial Activism in South Korea$
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Elizabeth Thurbon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702525

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702525.001.0001

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Rebirth of the Developmental State

Rebirth of the Developmental State

(p.1) 1 Rebirth of the Developmental State
Developmental Mindset

Elizabeth Thurbon

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter briefly discusses the revival of financial activism in Korea, focusing on the developmental mindset and the ways it has historically shaped—and continues to shape—Korean policymakers' approach to financial governance. It argues that since the 1997–98 Asian financial crisis, the emergence of new structural pressures, including the rise of China, financialization, and energy insecurity, have helped to revive and strengthen a quintessentially developmental view of finance in Korea. Despite the country's shift toward liberalization, the idea that the primary purpose of the financial sector is to serve the productive economy continues to resonate strongly among key segments of the policymaking elite. In striking contrast to most accounts of the Korean experience of financial reform since the late 1990s, the chapter contends that new modes of financial activism have returned the state to the center of the nation's financial system.

Keywords:   financial activism, Korea, developmental mindset, financial governance, Asian financial crisis, financialization, liberalization

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