London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Korea Under Siege, 1876-1945: Capital Formation and Economic Transformation

From the publisher’s website: The so-called miraculous economic development in the southern half of the Korean peninsula has transformed from basically an agrarian economy to that of a major industrial power in a very short time period, and it is now considered one of a dozen or so of industrialized countries in the world. However, … [Read More]

Developmental Dictatorship and the Park Chung-Hee Era: The Shaping of Modernity in the Republic of Korea

From the publisher’s website: By examining the most controversial Park Chung-hee period (1961-1979), Developmental Dictatorship and the Park Chung-hee Era helps the reader rediscover the socioeconomic origins of modern Korea. The essays in this book written by twelve noted Korean social scientists discuss the relationship between South Korea’s economic development and totalitarianism in the form … [Read More]

Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics in Taiwan and South Korea

Do the pressures of economic globalization undermine the welfare state? Contrary to the expectations of many analysts, Taiwan and South Korea have embarked on a new trajectory, toward a strengthened welfare state and universal inclusion. In Healthy Democracies, Joseph Wong offers a political explanation for health care reform in these two countries. He focuses specifically on the … [Read More]

Korea’s Development Under Park Chung Hee

From the publisher’s website: Based on personal interviews with the principal policy-makers of the 1970s, Korea’s Development under Park Chung-Hee examines how the president sought to develop South Korea into an independent, autonomous sovereign state both economically and militarily. Kim provides a new narrative in the complex task of exploring the paradoxical nature and effects of … [Read More]

Financial Crisis and Transformation of Korean Business Groups: The Rise and Fall of Chaebols

From the publisher’s website: Sea-Jin Chang argues that the Korean financial crisis of 1997 was due to the inertia of both the business groups known as chaebols and the Korean government which prevented adaptation to changing external environments. Once the Korean government stopped central economic planning and pursued economic liberalization in the 1980s, the transition … [Read More]

In Pursuit of Status: The Making of South Korea’s “New” Urban Middle Class

From the publisher’s website: In this ethnography of the everyday life of contemporary Korea, Denise Lett argues that South Korea’s contemporary urban middle class not only exhibits upper-class characteristics but also that this reflects a culturally inherited disposition of Koreans to seek high status. Lett shows that Koreans have adapted traditional ways of asserting high status … [Read More]

Korean Workers: The Culture and Politics of Class Formation

From the publisher’s website: Forty years of rapid industrialization have transformed millions of South Korean peasants and their sons and daughters into urban factory workers. Hagen Koo explores the experiences of this first generation of industrial workers and describes its struggles to improve working conditions in the factory and to search for justice in society. … [Read More]

Korean Crisis: Unraveling of the Miracle in the IMF Era

Donald Kirk explores the origins and effects of Korea’s economic crisis. He traces the events that constituted the crisis, including a series of scandals at the height of the Korean miracle; the efforts of President Kim Dae Jung to curb the overweening power of the chaebol, or conglomerates; and the outside intervention by the IMF and … [Read More]

Colonial Industrialization and Labor in Korea: The Onoda Cement Factory

From the publisher’s website: This book is a study of labor relations and the first generation of skilled workers in colonial Korea, a subject crucial to the understanding of modernization in twentieth-century Korea. Born in rural Korea, these workers confronted both the colonial experience and the modern workplace as they interacted with Japanese managers and … [Read More]

Korean Politics: The Quest for Democratization and Economic Development

Extraordinary political and economic changes have rocked the Republic of Korea over the past fifty years. John Oh, a Korean-born political scientist, has written a clear and insightful account of government and politics throughout this turbulent period. His chronological and thematic study analyzes both the conflicts between authoritarian forces and populist/democratic elements and the nation’s … [Read More]

Made in Korea: Chung Ju Yung and the Rise of Hyundai

From the publisher’s website: American business folklore is awash with the adventures of successful entrepreneurs. Still, most of these stories are about Americans, neglecting important and courageous entrepreneurs from other countries. Made in Korea recounts the story of how Chung Ju Yung rose from poverty to build one of the world’s largest and most successful … [Read More]

A Korean Nationalist Entrepreneur: A Life History of Kim Songsu, 1891–1955

From the publisher’s website: During the period of Japanese domination, Kim Songsu emerged as one of Korea’s leading cultural nationalists. This life history details his contribution to the self-strengthening programs moderate nationalists advocated as the foundation for Korea’s independence. “Choong Soon Kim’s well-written book weaves a history of Korean capitalism and a history of an … [Read More]

Han Unbound: The Political Economy of South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This book reveals how South Korea was transformed from one of the poorest and most agrarian countries in the world in the 1950’s to one of the richest and most industrialized states by the late 1980’s. The author argues that South Korea’s economic, cultural, and political development was the product of … [Read More]

Troubled Tiger: Businessmen, Bureaucrats and Generals in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This analysis of modern Korea includes: the imprisonment and sentencing of two former presidents of South Korea for their role in the Kwangju uprising and on various charges of corruption; the death of Kim II Sung and the resultant North-South standoff; and recent labour and student protests. Originally published in 1994 … [Read More]

Class Struggle or Family Struggle? The Lives of Women Factory Workers in South Korea

From the publisher’s website: This study complements the burgeoning literature on South Korean economic development by considering it from the perspective of young female factory workers. In approaching development from this position, Kim explores the opportunity and exploitation that development has presented to female workers and humanizes the notion of the ‘Korean economic miracle’ by … [Read More]

Big Business, Strong State: Collusion and Conflict in South Korean Development, 1960-1990

From the publisher’s website: Focuses on the paradox of development in the newly industrializing country of South Korea. This book debunks the rosy success story about South Korean economic development by analyzing how the state and businesses formed an alliance, while excluding labor, in order to attain economic development, and how these three entities were … [Read More]