This volume chronicles the policy challenges and adaptations faced and made by the South Korean government during the post-industrialization and democratization period. Following the model set by the first volume in the series, which covered the economic and social development during the developmental period from the 1960s to the 1980s, this volume examines how and to what extent the South Korean government has adapted to a variety of political, economic and social transformations since the 1990s. The book is divided in two parts. Part I reviews the changing policy environments and government policy paradigms in the wake of industrialization and democratization, focusing on the reorganization and coordination of government ministries and agencies. Part II explores key public policy areas, such as economics, social welfare, and foreign relations, where the South Korean government has successfully adapted to new policy challenges and environments. Drawing policy implications for the future actions of the South Korean government as well as for those countries wishing to replicate South Korea's success and avoid its errors, this book of interest to both scholars and policy-makers concerned with development in the Asia-Pacific.
In the postwar period, Korea's economic and social-political metamorphosis is a rare example of a successful transition from one of the world's poorest developing countries to a highly sophisticated industrial society-an experience which many developing countries are keen to emulate. The change is particularly significant as Korea was able to reduce poverty and keep social inequality at a modest level during its rapid economic development. This volume analyzes the Korean transition in regards to the political and institutional foundation of its government and public policies. The government of Korea single-mindedly carried out public policies to stimulate economic growth, but the government and public policies have themselves been affected and changed by the process. The contention of this volume is that the transition of Korean society and the evolution of the Korean government are the results of two-way interactions. In this context, the volume analyzes the way in which the dynamics of public administration were shaped within the Korean government and the kinds of public policies and instruments that were adopted to encourage this economic and social development. This analysis will allow a more complete understanding of the economic and social transformation of Korea. Surprisingly, there is a paucity of research on this aspect-a gap which this volume seeks to fill. This volume shows that it is necessary to maintain consistency and coherence in government and public policy in order to achieve economic and social transformation, making it of interest to both scholars and policy-makers concerned with development in the Asia-Pacific.