Free Trade Agreements and "Economic Territory" as Geoeconnomic Imaginaries in South Korea

Author: Seung-Ook Lee


Since the early 2000s, the discourse of "economic territory" has surfaced in conjunction with economic neoliberalization in South Korea. This paper argues that economic territory as a geoeconomic imaginary not only facilitated the expansion of free trade agreements as an accumulation strategy but also served as a hegemonic project which masked the nature of accumulative strategies as a class project and consolidated political legitimacy by manipulating nationalism. To examine this linkage, it critically draws upon the idea of cultural political economy (CPE) developed by Lancaster-based sociologists Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum. This paper offers a fresh and more substantial interpretation of South Korea's political economy and opens up new analytical space for CPE.

Regions: East Asia
Countries: Korea

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December 2017
© FAO/Asim Hafeez