The Discursive Demolition of the Asian Development Model

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I demonstrate the constitutive effects of discursive strategies and explore the discursive conditions in which changing ideas generate these effects. I perform an extensive analysis of the discursive strategies generated by three key actors in the Asian financial crisis. I argue that all three, U.S. Treasury, the International Monetary Fund, and the Kim Dae-jung South Korean administration, represented key practices associated with the Asian model as “cronyism” and as “corruption,” thereby normatively delegitimating these practices, thereby effecting the demise of the Asian model of development in Korea. I argue that these discursive practices generate narrative structures that have a constitutive effect on the subsequent discursive and economic practices of actors. The manner in which the narratives represent “causes” of the crisis constitute and reconstitute the social meanings by which past and current social and economic practices are legitimated or de-legitimated. The structures constituted by these social meanings re-create and reconstitute the present and future conditions for strategic action. I conclude with a demonstration of how these narratives institutionalize the discourses they construct through changes in Korean state and commercial institutions.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2003

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