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The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul

Shin, Hyun Bang and Kim, Soo-Hyun (2016) The developmental state, speculative urbanisation and the politics of displacement in gentrifying Seoul. Urban Studies, 53 (3). pp. 540-559. ISSN 0042-0980

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0042098014565745


What does gentrification mean under speculative urbanisation led by a strong developmental state? This paper analyses the contemporary history of Seoul’s urban redevelopment, arguing that new-build gentrification is an endogenous process embedded in Korea’s highly speculative urban development processes from the 1980s. Property owners, construction firms and local/central governments coalesce, facilitating the extraction of exchange value by closing the rent gap. Displacement of poorer owner-occupiers and tenants was requisite for the success of speculative accumulation. Furthermore, the paper also contends that Korea’s speculative urbanisation under the strong developmental (and later (neo-)liberalising) state has rendered popular resistance to displacement ineffective despite its initial success in securing state concessions. Examining the experience of Seoul in times of condensed industrialisation and speculative urbanisation helps inform the existing literature on gentrification by resorting to non-Western empirics.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2015 Urban Studies Journal Limited
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Asia Centre
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD2329 Industrialization
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Research centres and groups > Asia Research Centre
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 10:19
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 03:02

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