Crafting and dismantling the egalitarian social contract: the changing state-society relations in globalizing Korea

Sang-Young Park

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Between the late 1960s and the early 1980s, the Korean developmental state implemented a series of drastic egalitarian educational policies that were primarily geared toward social integration. While promoting social mobility and educational expansion, they provided the basis of the egalitarian social contract in Korea's educational policymaking for decades. Since the 1990s, however, the Korean state has implemented neoliberal education reforms that led to the rapid dismantling of the egalitarian framework for the country's educational policymaking. These neoliberal reforms were strongly supported by the affluent middle class that prefer elitist education and can afford expensive private education. The general direction of change in Korea's educational policymaking suggests both significant change and continuity in the character of the Korean state and its relations to society since the 1990s. The contemporary Korean state still maintains a highly strategic and activist orientation in adopting and implementing policies although its policies are increasingly neoliberal in content. In doing so, the Korean state is gradually abandoning its broad social base and mobilizational capacity, while increasingly connecting with the upper segments of the middle class.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)579-601
    JournalThe Pacific Review
    Volume23
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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