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Edited by Henry Wai-chung Yeung
Chapter 12: The State and Transnational Capital in Adaptive Partnership: Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan
12. The state and transnational capital in adaptive partnership: Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan Christopher M. Dent The relationship between transnational capital and the state has stirred much interest and debate within the international political economy literature. The analysis presented here makes a comparative case study analysis of this relationship in the foreign economic policy (FEP) calculus of three East Asian newly industrialized economies: Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan (the NIE-3).1 While each of the NIE-3’s own path of economic development has diﬀered signiﬁcantly, there nevertheless exist important similarities. This relates not just to being a constituent of the East Asian regional economic dynamic, but also to their shared developmental state tradition. The relationship between the state and transnational capital is also a key to understanding the NIE-3’s foreign economic policy formation, yet this too diﬀered signiﬁcantly across the group. In Singapore, the state has forged close working relations with the hosted foreign transnational corporations (TNCs) that dominate the economy. In South Korea, the state has cultivated a home-grown transnational capital capacity, as seen in its developmental alliance forged with the chaebol conglomerates. Furthermore, an arm’s-length relationship with foreign TNCs was traditionally maintained, although this changed after the cataclysmic events of South Korea’s 1997/1998 ﬁnancial crisis. The Taiwanese state’s own relationship with transnational capital has, meanwhile, concentrated on the transborder economic space being created by intensifying commercial interactions with mainland China (see also Chapters 9 and 16 in this volume). The NIE-3’s foreign trade, investment...
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