Table of Contents

Reshaping Regional Policy

Reshaping Regional Policy

Edited by Harry W. Richardson, Chang-Hee Christine Bae and Sang-Chuel Choe

Originally initiated by the Presidential Committee on Regional Development in South Korea, this wide-ranging volume investigates the new directions in regional development policy taking shape around the world. In addition to contributions with individual emphasis on regional policy in Korea, the book compares, contrasts and extends regional policy thought in the European Union and other Asian countries.

Chapter 1: Introduction: Reshaping Regional Policy in Korea

Sang-Chuel Choe

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, geography, economic geography, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, regional economics, regional studies


Sang-Chuel Choe REGIONS IN THE KOREAN CONTEXT Korea is well known for remarkable economic success over the past halfcentury. Comparing with the 1960s, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita has risen more than 200 times, and exports have increased over 1000 times. Korea became an OECD member country in the mid-1990s, hosted the 1988 Olympic Games, 2002 World Cup, and is going to host the G20 summit in November 2010. Now, in the twenty-first century, Korea is ranked as the 14th-largest economy and is geared up to become an even more active actor in the global economy. Along with this growth story, the national territory and regions in Korea have been rapidly reorganized and reshaped. From a traditional agricultural and rural society up to the 1960s, Korea is now one of the most urbanized and industrialized societies in the world. Roads and railroads, logistic ports, international airports, industrial complexes, nuclear power plants and many other facilities have been constructed while more than 90 percent of South Koreans now live in urbanized areas. In spite of these accomplishments, Korea is still struggling for successful regional development. Entering the twenty-first century, Koreans have focused on local developmental rather than national issues, quality of life more than economic issues, and local and regional governance rather than centralized administrative issues. Such a shift in concern is derived from the growth in mature civil consciousness during the decades of economic growth and from a cumulative desire for self-reliant development at the community and regional levels....