KIPA spreads gospel of Korea’s economic miracle
By Chung Min-uck
South Korea is the exemplary case that captures the spirit of fast industrialization, and is now being emulated by a growing number of developing countries, according to a leading researcher in public administration.
“Korea’s rags-to-riches story is unique and a good model for many developing nations,” Park Eung-kyuk, president of the Korea Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) said during a recent interview. “It was literally the linchpin in nation building.”
KIPA is a research organization under the Prime Minister’s Office.
The professor-turned-administrator referred to public administration as a “pathfinder,” as bold intervention in economic development projects helped revitalize the war-torn country’s economy and prompt coordination of conflicts among interest groups.
Last month, Park visited Belarus to give a speech concerning the government’s role in Korea’s development during a conference hosted by the Eastern European nation’s counterpart, the Academy of Public Administration, under the aegis of the president of the Republic of Belarus. Park also held a publication party for the Russian version of the book “Korea: From Rags to Riches,” during his visit.
Delegates from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional community bloc comprising republics formed during the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, showed great interest in the book, published by KIPA in conjunction with The Korea Times, which introduces the history of Korea’s modern development.
They said their institutions would use it as a textbook to learn the knowhow about Korea’s development.
“The Russian version will be the most accessible textbook for people in the CIS to understand Korea,” said Park. “Readers will not only get to know how Korea ascended from poverty to wealth but at the same time understand the country’s culture and history.”
“Korea: From Rags to Riches,” published in 2010, covers 60 aspects of Korea’s developmental success. The articles were previously published in the weekend editions of The Korea Times on the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War (1950-53).
“This book is an encyclopedia of the Korean development model,” wrote Park in the introduction to the book. “It is designed to further enhance readers’ interest in Korean development as well as to provide a guide for state policy planners in developing countries as they pursue economic development and political democratization.”
The book is divided into three parts — The Government’s Role in Nation Building, The Role of the Private Sector and The Legacies of Koreans — and within them are 13 sub-chapters featuring specific incidents, historical figures, issues and agenda.
Park was the editor of the book.