Inclusive Partners? Internationalizing South Korea's Chaebol through corporate social responsibility-linked development cooperation.

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In recent years, non-traditional or ‘emerging’ donors such as South Korea have organized their development cooperation models in a manner that seeks to complement the capacities of the private sector by extending the overseas activities of domestic businesses. To better understand this process, this article examines the role of South Korea’s large, family-led conglomerates (chaebol) in its growing international development sector. In particular, we focus on how the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been used to link the role of its large, and frequently scandal-ridden, private companies to international development, and, by extension, how it has helped to internationalise state-business networks long associated with the Korean developmental state. We examine two strategies through which this has been carried out. The first is by extending the logic of creating shared value (CSV, a derivative of CSR) to aid and infrastructure projects in which chaebol and other state-linked businesses have participated. The second is by directly embedding CSR-based aid initiatives in the value chains of the specific chaebol themselves.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1739
JournalThird World Quarterly
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2020