The Postdevelopmental State: A Gramscian Interpretation

The Postdevelopmental State: A Gramscian Interpretation

November 8, 2019

The Postdevelopmental State: A Gramscian Interpretation

Friday, November 8, 2019 | 11:30 AM -12:30 PM | Room 120, North Ross Building, York University

This talk argues that the challenges and frustrations that progressive forces have faced in trying to find an alternative to both authoritarian developmentalism and an export-dependent neoliberalism provide a timely focus for understanding contemporary Korea: one that reveals much about how democratic activism has altered the policies and politics pursued by the state, as much as it shows how the forces associated with Korea’s Cold War experience of development continue to influence its orientation. In this presentation, I examine some of obstacles to this ‘integral’ approach to the state – one sensitive to the complex nexus between political and civil society – particularly in the form of the long-standing dominance of developmental state theory and its identification of the state with elite economic bureaucracies. To illustrate the importance of a relational, processual, and spatial understanding of the state that this integral approach provides, I draw on recent research into the Moon Jae-in administration’s attempts to create a ‘labour-respecting society’ through expanded social dialogue, income-led growth, and the regularization of non-standard workers. While sounding seemingly social democratic, the failure of this policy to institutionalize social partnership, or to significantly address the problem of precarious work can be related back, I argue, to the structure of the historical bloc that led to Moon’s election, and the complex politics of legitimation situated at the nexus between state and civil society that has shaped it since the 1990s.

Dr. Jamie Doucette is Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester and a Leverhulme Research Fellow. He publishes widely in geography, Asian studies, and political economy. His work has appeared in journals such as Progress in Human Geography, Political Geography, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, Critical Asian Studies, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Korean Studies, among others.  He is the editor, with Bae-Gyoon Park, of Developmentalist Cities? Interrogating Urban Developmentalism in East Asia (2019, Brill).

This talk is organized by Laam Hae (Department of Politics, York University).

This talk is presented by the Korean Office for Research and Education (KORE) at York University funded by the Academy of Korean Studies. This talk is co-presented by the Department of Geography at York University.

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