New wine in old bottles? Korean state actors’ policy engagement with the online gaming industry

Ji-Won Song*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article revisits the developmental state literature that stresses the unitary role of the state in steering economic development in East Asia. Focusing on the Korean state actors’ diversity and their agency after the trend of globalization and democratization, this article highlights various state actors as agents and looks into how the role of state actors has changed with industrial development, using the setting of the Korean online gaming industry over the past two decades. By examining government policy measures on the industry, I found that the state actors have actively engaged with the industry, however, this agency has not been uniform due to the different purposes of the actors and sometimes led a detrimental effect against the needs or expectations of the industry. The findings, thus, contribute to the literature by suggesting the potentiality of agent-driven institutional change and the heterogeneity that comes from the state actors’ policy engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-123
Number of pages27
JournalCompetition & Change
Issue number1
Early online date13 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • role of state
  • developmental state
  • Korea
  • institutional change
  • Industrial policy
  • online gaming industry
  • policy


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