Over the last decade, I have worked on three strands of inter-related research:
1. Institutional Dynamics of Late Capitalism
The first strand stems from my doctoral research funded by the Cambridge Political Economy Trust at University of Cambridge, and post-doctoral fellowship funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which examined the institutional dynamics of “late” capitalism. By exploring corporate and industrial change in South Korea in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98, I identified the strengths and weaknesses of state-led coordination in the development of firm capabilities.
2. The Political Economy of Middle-Income Trap
The second strand is on the political economy of the middle-income trap, funded by the British Academy’s Rising Star Engagement Award, that explored a specific set of challenges that middle-income economies face in making the leap necessary to attain high-income status.
3. The Politics of Inclusive Industrial Growth for High-Income Transition
The third, and most recent strand of work is on the new politics of solidarity in East Asia, funded by the KCL-Nanyang Technological University Partnership Fund and the Academy of Korean Studies. The driving idea behind this project is that there is a limit to studying economies languishing in the middle-income trap, and to overcome the trap, closer scrutiny of high-income transition in East Asia is required, with focus on the politics that move policies.
Currently, I’m co-editing a special journal issue on “Advancing the Inclusive Industrial Growth Debate” to be published with Competition & Change. The issue examines the challenges of sustaining the “growth with equity” model of development amidst post-industrial change in Northeast and Southeast Asia.
I’m also a part of the research project funded by Hong Kong Research Grants Council, entitled “Globalization, Economic Institutions, and Power Relations: Inclusive Growth in East Asia”. The project explores the rise of economic inequality and precarious work in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, not as unavoidable consequence of technological progress, but a matter of social choice by state and business, and the politics of solidarity (or lack there of).