chapter  5
19 Pages

The developmental alliance in flux

The ‘growth-first’ policy stance that was central to the developmental alliance neatly encapsulated the tumultuous Park era. Whereas Park initially considered rapid economic growth to be merely the means of Korea’s modernisation, by the late 1970s it had become an end in itself. The state’s extensive support for the chaebols had created serious imbalances between big business and other economic agents. In the wake of the financial crisis that accompanied Park’s death, Korea’s new leaders appeared resentful of the way in which the state was held responsible for the crisis when, they reasoned, it was the chaebols’ investments that had contributed to a substantial accumulation of foreign debt and the recession of 1979-80.