Peacock Scholarship

Democracy Building in the Asian Miracle: Political and Economic Development in South Korea and Taiwan

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This paper examines the extent to which democratization in South Korea and Taiwan was influenced by economic development and vice versa, focusing on the 1960s to 1990s, when the so-called “Asian Miracle” was taking place. It compares the two countries’ respective economic and political journeys from developing to developed nations, and posits that the authoritarian regimes that were in place during the beginning of the Asian Miracle facilitated rapid economic growth, yet the urbanization and education of labor forces eventually led to the downfall of said authoritarian regimes. This paper also looks at conditions common to the two countries, such as United States military and economic aid, Confucian values, former Japanese colonization and devastating wars that forced economies to begin almost from scratch, and how these shaped South Korea and Taiwan’s political and economic development. It then lays out areas for further improvement in both countries’ democratization processes.

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  • 10/20/2020
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