The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 1086–1101 | Cite as

International Perceptions of South Korea as Development Partner: Attractions and Strategic Implications

  • Sung-Mi Kim
Original Article


Unlike a number of other Asian donors and development partners, including Development Assistance Committee (DAC) member Japan, South Korea has received an almost unqualified welcome as a provider of international assistance. This paper analyses why this is the case, examining three groupings of international actors: ‘traditional’ OECD-DAC Western donors; other Asian development partners, both DAC and non-DAC; and recipient countries. For each grouping, it offers a specific set of interests and contexts that have enabled South Korea to relatively successfully advance itself in the international development landscape. By demonstrating the disparate international perceptions of South Korea as a development partner, this paper reveals international actors’ strategic imperatives, and provides a critical reflection on the emerging discursive frames and institutional ecology of contemporary development.


international development South Korea OECD-Development Assistance Committee (DAC) official development assistance (ODA) developmental state politics of knowledge 

Contrairement à un certain nombre d’autres donateurs asiatiques et de partenaires de développement, y compris le Japon, membre de DAC, la Corée du Sud a reçu un accueil sans réserve comme fournisseur d’aide internationale. Cet étude analyse pourquoi c’est le cas, examinant trois groupements d’acteurs internationaux: les donateurs Occidentaux OCDE-DAC; d’autres partenaires de développement asiatiques, DAC et non-DAC; et pays récipiendaires. Pour chaque groupement, cette étude analyse un ensemble spécifique d’intérêts et de contextes qui ont permis à la Corée du Sud de s’avancer de façon relativement réussie dans le paysage du développement international. En démontrant les perceptions internationales disparates de la Corée du Sud comme un partenaire de développement, ce papier révèle les impératifs stratégiques des acteurs internationaux et fournit une réflexion critique sur les cadres discursifs émergents ainsi que sur l’écologie institutionnelle du développement contemporain.


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© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CambridgeDowning PlUK

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