chapter  3
17 Pages

Priming for take-off

A developmental alliance, as previous chapters have argued, results from the interaction between state infrastructural power and the structural power of capital. In this chapter we sketch the background to the emergence of the DA under Park Chung Hee. For the Korean state, the DA was a means of modernising Korean society and partaking in the Western-dominated international system. The key members of the junta that seized power in 1961 witnessed the nationalist state-led development model of the Japanese colonial era. This ‘demonstration effect’ would be twofold for Park and his coterie. The pre-1945 period showcased the supposed virtues of state-led development. Further, the instability and poverty that plagued Korea during the presidency of Syngman Rhee only confirmed Park’s belief that an activist state needed to lead the process of modernisation. Park’s motivation for intervening in 1961 was that Rhee had neglected the national interest.