SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Chang, Dae-Oup and Chae, Jun-Ho (2004) 'The Transformation of Korean Labour Relations Since 1997.' Journal of Contemporary Asia, 34 (4). pp. 427-448.

Full text not available from this repository.


The Korean labour movement has been broadly understood as one of the most militant trade union movements in the world. To be sure, the radical unionism in Korea has been rapidly developing since the emergence of democratic trade union movement in the 1970s, changing the nature of the relations between capital and labour to a great extent. However, despite its fame, it also faces many challenges from the accelerated restructuring of capitalist relations. This article examines the dynamics of the development of the relations between the state, capital and labour after the economic crisis in Korea in 1997. By doing so, it attempts to identify the basis of the challenge to the further development of the Korean labour movement, in the context of the unfolding of the reconstruction of the way in which capitalist labour is organised. The article is divided into three main parts. Firstly, we look at the restructuring policies introduced by the state and corporations under the guidance of the structural adjustment policies of IMF. Secondly, we examine how far the crisis and restructuring policies have had an effect on the nature of labour relations by tracing the effect of immediate labour market restructuring policies as well as of other structural adjustment policies. The last section evaluates the transformation of trade union movement on the basis of emerging new forms of unionisation and subjectivity of the labour movement in the restructuring process.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: South Korea, Labour Relations, Economic Crisis
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 00472336
Copyright Statement: Copyright Journal of Contemporary Asia
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2009 10:23

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item