Assessing the roles of capital, labour, and state, McNamara discovers a distinctive style of interest bargaining to bridge uncertainties and foster entrepreneurship. The textile industry serves as a microcosm of the broader social changes of the past five decades. Dramatic transitions from family firms to professional capitalism, from state direction to regulation, and from company unions to industry federations take centre stage. Moving among executives, labour leaders, and state officials, the author charts development across the crucible of contending interests. Stretching from high technology to labour-intensive production, the textile industry offers a new profile of democratization and market liberalization, and recently of globalization and adjustment in the wake of the Asian Financial Crisis.
The first comprehensive review of the past and present of a leading sector, the volume offers a new interpretation of society and market in South Korea. Drawing insights from the New Economic Sociology, this study sheds new light on social systems of production in the South Korean Miracle. Contrasts with Thailand and Japan bring the Korean experience of interest contention into a comparative context of Asian capitalism.