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[5/29] Book Launch: Late Industrialization, Tradition, and Social Change in South Korea

April 29, 2024

Join CKS on Wednesday, May 29 from 4:30-6pm in Thomson Hall room 317 for the launch of Professor Ha Yong-Chool’s latest monograph, Late Industrialization, Tradition, and Social Change in South Korea. This event will be hosted in a book talk format moderated by Professor Jonathan Warren and discussed by Professor Robert Pekkanen.

Click here to register or utilize the QR code below.

South Korea’s rapid industrialization occurred with the rise of the chaebǒl that controlled vast swaths of the nation’s economy. Leader Park Chung Hee’s sense of backwardness and urgency led him to rely on familial, school, and regional ties to expedite the economic transformation. Late Industrialization, Tradition, and Social Change in South Korea elucidates how a country can progress economically while relying on traditional social structures that usually fragment political and economic vitality. The book proposes a new framework for macro social change under late industrialization by analyzing the specific process of interactions between economic tasks and tradition through the state’s mediation.

Drawing on interviews with bureaucrats in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry as well as workers and others, Ha demonstrates how the state propelled industrialization by using kinship networks to channel investments and capital into chaebǒl corporations. What Ha calls “neofamilism” was the central force behind South Korea’s economic transformation as the state used preindustrial social patterns to facilitate industrialization.

Yong-Chool Ha is the Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Social Science at the University of Washington. Ha has authored and edited many books in Korean and English, including New Perspectives on International Studies in Korea, Russia’s Choice at the Crossroads, Global Standards and Identity in Korean Society, Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea, International Impact of Colonial Rule in Korea, 1910-1945, and The Strong State Dynamics: Hollowing Out and Debureaucratization (Korean). Ha’s primary academic interests address comparative politics and society with a particular focus on late industrializing nations, Korean domestic and international politics, inter-Korean Relations, and international theories in East Asia. Ha is currently engaged in a comparative study of Korea’s modernization.