The aim of this paper is to clarify the kind of capitalist society that is emerging in South Korea. To keep the conceptual analysis focused, the paper addresses the questions of how and why the structural and institutional socio-economic and political arrangements have changed during South Korea's catch-up process and what others could learn from it. Using a historical-comparative approach, the paper shows how the economic policy and welfare protection of the developmental welfare capitalism in East Asia in general and in South Korea in particular have changed during the differ-ent stages of the economic catch-up process. In addition, it points out the major chal-lenges that the model faces in the future. It appears that the socio-economic and po-litical arrangements of the era reflect the level of economic development and starting conditions, on the one hand, and the balance of power between labour, capital and the political establishment, on the other hand. The biggest challenge to the democra-tised and export oriented East Asian developmental welfare capitalism is the urgency to find quick but sustainable solutions to the accumulated social problems in the con-text of worldwide economic recession and intensified globalisation.
Newly Industrialising Countries Varieties of Capitalism Welfare Capitalism Welfare Developmentalism