Liberalization as a development strategy: Network governance in the korean mobile telecom market

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes Korea's often noted yet seldom studied spectacular rise to become one of the important global players in the mobile telecommunications industry. The Korean "leap frog" occurred in the context of liberalization under the worldwide liberal telecommunications regime. This article finds that network governance - the emphasis on the use of partnerships and network transactions with global firms as well as the local private sector - is the reason for Korea's success. It examines the origins of and driving forces acting upon the liberalization policy, and discusses how the state and telecom firms cooperated to develop the mobile market. It also assesses the new governance that is taking place in Korea's telecom market by focusing on the changing roles of the state in three major aspects: provision, regulation, and foreign entry barriers into the mobile market. While the Korean government promoted a market-conforming telecom market and private ownership, this article argues, it formulated rather different governance principles from the U.S. model of liberal governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-654
Number of pages22
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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