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Deregulating a Developmental State: Changes since South Korea's 1998 Regulatory Reform

Nara Park, Jihyun Ham & Yeonu Son
PAQ, Vol. 47 No. 4, 515-545 (2023)

In this article, we primarily highlight the nature of governmental regulations that define and transform the role of a state. Based on careful scrutiny on the regulatory reform processes and outcomes between 1998 and 2019, we argue that international and domestic assessments of South Korean governmental regulations, which have been managed but not necessarily reduced, have remained steady due to South Korea’s rapid improvement in regulatory reform. We also contend that domestic (i.e., an efficient bureaucracy that responds to the direction of the President as a social atmosphere that tolerates reforms) and international (i.e., the IMF request for intensive regulatory reform in return for a bailout) pressure influenced the South Korean government regulations in the late 1990s, with South Korea becoming a post-developmental state after democratization and then aiming to shift toward becoming a deregulated state.

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