The legacies of state corporatism in Korea: Regulatory capture in the Sewol ferry tragedy

Jong-Sung You, Youn Min Park, Youn Min Park

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Regarding the causes of the Sewol ferry accident that claimed 304 lives in April 2014, some scholars have blamed neoliberal reforms such as deregulation and privatization for the safety regulatory failure. Others have highlighted the role of industry influence and corruption. Our analysis shows that regulatory capture was the crucial causal factor moreover, this capture was institutionalized from the state-corporatist arrangements of the authoritarian period rather than reflecting new arrangements under the democratic era or corruption per se. The delegation of the critical safety regulation enforcement to the shipping industry association was not introduced as a neoliberal reform but in the context of state corporatism of the Park Chung-hee regime. Democratic governments continued to protect the monopoly of the lucrative Incheon-Jeju ferry business, contrary to neoliberal logic. The legacies of state corporatism persist despite post-financial crisis reform.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-118 pp
    JournalJournal of East Asian Studies
    Volume17
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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