Why has the literature on Asian development not addressed the issue of money politics in Korea? How can we reconcile the view of an efficient developmental state in Korea before 1997 with reports of massive corruption and inefficiency in that same country in 1998 and 1999? Politics is central to the answer. In this book the author makes two arguments. First, both Korea and the Philippines experienced significant corruption throughout the post-independence era. Second, political - not economic - considerations dominated policy making in both countries. Focusing on the exchange of favors for bribes between state and business, the author argues that politics drove policy choices, that bureaucrats were not autonomous from political interference in setting policy, and that business and political elites wrestled with each other over who would reap the rents to be had. Even in Korea, corruption was far greater than the conventional wisdom allows.
• Detailed empirical evidence about Korean politics • Explicit comparison of a Northeast Asian country and a Southeast Asian country • Bridges comparative politics and international relations
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; 1. The puzzle and the theory; 2. Comparing Korea and the Philippines; 3. Institutions: bureaucrats and rulers; 4. Mutual Hostages in Korea; 5. Bandwagon politics in the Philippines; 6. Democracy in the 1980s and the financial crisis of 1997; 7. Conclusion: corruption and development; Index.
'This book challenges the political causes of developmental failures. It has the merit of being concise while presenting a forceful argument … Kang handles the Korean-Philippine comparison with great assurance, and his book will interest not only political economists specializing in East Asia, but also those whose geographical focus is elsewhere.' Journal of Public Policy
'David King's book is a valuable analysis of the relationship of corporate corruption to development.' International Affairs
'Although previous literature mostly portrayed the Park regime as the paragon of the developmental state, Kang convincingly reveals that politics under the Park regime was actually money ridden.' Japanese Journal of Political Science