South Korea Domestic Context


Impact of Geography on Domestic Situation

South Korea is located on the Korean Peninsula, bordered by the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. Strategically, the peninsula of the Republic of Korea benefits the country’s economy. Because Korea is smaller than its neighbors, it has spent most of its history attempting to fit into the larger international structure. Smaller countries stand to benefit the most from international trade. The Republic of Korea has had plenty of time to catch up because it has been geographically isolated for the last two millennia (Hauge 2020). The states show that location is essential in gaining power because of its impact on national policy, economic growth, natural resource distribution, and even the climate.

Korea’s worldview and policies have been influenced due to bowing to and occasionally resisting the pull and pressure of its far more powerful neighbors. This is understandable given that the Korean Peninsula is the only place where the political and geographical interests of the world’s four powers coincide, including China, Japan, the United States, and Russia. Companies have been encouraged to expand internationally due to the site’s favorable business environment (Lee 2020). Multinational corporations such as Hyundai, Samsung, and Kia Motors have improved the region’s quality of life by providing locals with stable employment.

The location has put South Korea in tension because the peninsula is struggled for by its powerful neighbors. Most recently, conflicts between major countries, and the renewed rivalry between the United States and China, have long influenced Korean politics and security (Bowers and Henrik 2020). Because of its strategic location between the world’s two most powerful countries, the region has become a target for invasion, colonization, and proxy conflicts. Despite this, it has played an important role in South Korea’s rise to one of the largest economies and a global player in diplomacy and defense. Without these remaining capabilities, there is always the risk that major countries will take advantage of the system.

Impact on Governance

The geographical location of South Korea impacts governance significantly. The country has developed cutting-edge weapons and invested heavily in military training to protect its citizens from potential threats (Bowers and Henrik 2020). Bilateral security treaties, such as those between the US and Japan or the US and the Republic of Korea, need not be reviewed immediately. However, as regional players’ absolute and relative strength grows and security challenges worsen, it will become increasingly important to identify solutions that can meet both sets of objectives in the coming years. Korea’s foreign policy and national security strategies may need to be rethought in light of internal changes such as democracy, economic reorganization, rising security agreements, and the possibility of significant changes in North Korea. This emphasizes the importance of future road maps and legislation from Korea’s security strategists. As commanders in chief of the armed forces, the presidents must be prepared for anything that may occur in the coming years.

State Capacity

Overview of State Capacity

In applied development, weak states are frequently associated with fragile state capacity. Conflict and ineffective government are frequently linked to stagnant or declining wages. Whether a government is democratic or authoritarian, increasing state capacity stabilizes the government and reduces the likelihood of change. When governments have more resources, they can better meet their citizens’ needs while maintaining government stability. As a result, popular support is increased, potentially disruptive factions are appeased, and other issues that could bring the regime down are mitigated.

South Korea has a strong state capacity to counter crises and provide high standards of life for its citizens. South Korea serves as a model for developing effective institutions. Korea abolished autocratic rule, established a liberal democracy, and became a powerful developmental state. The country has transformed in a way that appears to support the state’s first argument, which contends that a strong democracy requires long-standing institutions before it can function effectively. Despite the costs and effects on general equilibrium, South Korea’s heavy and manufacturing industries appear to have benefited from an active industrial strategy (Lane 2022). The nation is home to sizeable big tech and automotive companies, providing employment opportunities and producing massive economic improvement revenue.

South Korea’s State Capacity and its Impacts on Domestic Context

The country has effectively developed and implemented strategies meant to save the country from poverty. South Korea’s role in late industrialization in Korea, the country’s advanced infrastructure was not the only factor in its ability to coordinate the expansion of its manufacturing sector. Tolerating state interventionist measures to aid South Korea’s development was also critical in Western capitalist countries (Kim and Stephanie 2019). The Republic of Korea generally has achieved remarkable economic development and poverty eradication. Between 1988 and 2019, government spending and other activities in Korea contributed an annualized 5.45 percentage point to real gross domestic product growth (Lee 2022). This remarkable achievement was made possible by the annual average export growth of 9.27% over that period.

The current capacity of South Korea is founded on the policies implemented by Park. South Korea’s growth strategy was drastically altered following the 1973 proclamation. The government took several steps to boost exports, including enacting industrial regulations encouraging exports and implementing a solid push program to channel resources, particularly capital, into key industries (Lane 2022). Park had planned for total industrialization before 1973, with exports fueling the goal. The current Covid 19 showed that south Korea still has a strong state capacity. According to Mazzucato and Rainer (2020), South Korea showed strength in handling the pandemic and in a fast recovery rate. The crisis management maintained the economy at the top, even with many nations struggling with fallen economies.

Impact on Governance

The case of South Korea shows that to thrive, modern democracies must be resilient in the face of tragedies and catastrophes such as war and economic collapse. During times of crisis, the state’s ability to provide the government with the resources it requires to maintain national peace and public support is critical. State capacity is vital to the success of government initiatives to provide public goods such as safety and security, contract enforcement, and other forms of social welfare. South Korea has set high standards for leadership, requiring leaders to uphold security in all dimensions for any threat they face. They have strong armies, armories, and effective countermeasures to threats. Leaders do not struggle to govern because they have enough resources to make and implement major decisions.


South Korea is located in both a threatening and advantageous location. Its strong state of capacity has enabled the state’s growth in the Peninsula region, giving it the ability to compete with world powers for opportunities. The state holds large companies that provide employment and an environment for the international market. The geographical scenery attracts people from different regions, creating a market for domestic products and companies. This has enabled growth, resulting in the strong capacity of the state over the years. While they have faced trouble from neighbors like North Korea, the government has done good work to protect the citizens and their interests. Most citizens, therefore, trust the government and are happy with how different government administrations have led. Overall, the geography and capacity of state tools impact the domestic context significantly and have helped strengthen the state over the years.


Bowers, Ian, and Henrik Stålhane Hiim. 2020. “Conventional Counterforce Dilemmas: South Korea’s Deterrence Strategy and Stability on the Korean Peninsula.” International Security 45, no. 3: 7-39. Web.

Hauge, Jostein. 2020. “Industrial policy in the era of global value chains: Towards a developmentalist framework drawing on the industrialization experiences of South Korea and Taiwan.” The World Economy 43, no. 8: 2070-2092. Web.

Kim, Hyungryeol, and Stephanie K. Kim. 2019. “Global convergence or national identity making?: The history textbook controversy in South Korea, 2004-2018.” Asia Pacific Journal of Education 39, no. 2: 252-263. Web.

Lane, Nathan. 2022. “Manufacturing revolutions: Industrial policy and industrialization in South Korea.” Available at SSRN 3890311. Web.

Lee, Chung Min. 2020. “A Peninsula of Paradoxes: South Korean Public Opinion on Unification and Outside Powers.” Carnegie Endowment For International Peace. Web.

Mazzucato, Mariana, and Rainer Kattel. 2020. “COVID-19 and public-sector capacity.” Oxford Review of Economic Policy 36, no. Supplement_1: S256-S269. Web.

Make a reference

Pick a citation style


PapersGeeks. (2023, October 18). South Korea Domestic Context.

Work Cited

"South Korea Domestic Context." PapersGeeks, 18 Oct. 2023,

1. PapersGeeks. "South Korea Domestic Context." October 18, 2023.


PapersGeeks. "South Korea Domestic Context." October 18, 2023.


PapersGeeks. 2023. "South Korea Domestic Context." October 18, 2023.


PapersGeeks. (2023) 'South Korea Domestic Context'. 18 October.

Click to copy

This paper on South Korea Domestic Context was created by a student just like you. You are allowed to use this work for academic purposes. If you wish to use a snippet from the sample in your paper, a proper citation is required.

Takedown Request

If you created this work and want to delete it from the PapersGeeks database, send a removal request.