Global Capital, Business Groups and State Coordination: the Changing Profile of Chaebol-State Relations in South Korea


  • Soyon Kim Stony Brook University



transnational capitalism, finance hegemony, state coordination, post-developmental state, chaebol


This article examines the effects of global capitalism and state coordination on the financial behaviour of chaebol (business conglomerates) in South Korea. This study focuses on the evolution from controller to coordinator in the post-developmental South Korean state. In recent times, the Korean government has been studied as the exemplar of the Asian newly industrializing economies (NIEs) based on its ability to control economic development. As civil society pressures outgrew government control in the 1990s, the government’s mission shifted from control to coordination – the state sought to accommodate newly emerging or enlarged bargaining domains of key political-economic actors. However, the emergent post-developmental state is buffeted by the growing strength of the private sector, domestically and transnationally. While civil society strived to mobilize mass movements to further social democracy, the neoliberal evolution of capitalist class interests generated institutional configurations favouring the hegemony of finance capital.

Author Biography

Soyon Kim, Stony Brook University

Ph. D. Candidate

Department of Sociology

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY 11794-4356