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Title:The transformation of Korean wireless telecommunications policy: the state, transnational forces, businesses, and networked users
Author(s):Bae, Cheol Gi
Director of Research:Sandvig, Christian E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Sandvig, Christian E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Schiller, Daniel T.; Nerone, John C.; Jin, Dal Yong
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Neoliberal-developmental state
Korean wireless telecommunications policy
Globalization and the state
Political economy of communications
Networked users
Online democracy
Virtuous circle
State-led research and development
Abstract:This dissertation is a historical account of wireless telecommunications policy in South Korea (hereafter Korea). It investigates how wireless telecommunications policy in Korea was transformed from 1993 to 2013. This dissertation relies on historical methods and user interviews, and examines contextual factors that shaped Korean policy change. There are two main arguments in this dissertation. One is that the interactions between the forces of global neoliberalism, the Korean developmental state, and domestic capital shaped a hybrid type of wireless telecommunications policy regime which this research sees as the “neoliberal-developmental state.” The other is that online community culture gave rise to a new type of telecommunications user. This research calls them “networked users,” meaning users who are self-empowered in cyberspace and who are opposed to closed polices created by developmental goals and business interests. This dissertation first examines major policy cases, including privatization, licensing, deregulation and research and development of wireless technologies in Korea. This dissertation identifies that the state was not a relatively passive victim of transnational capitalism. The state was instead either an active supporter of neoliberal globalization or acts as one of the major strategic actors in reshaping the national economy and wireless telecommunications industries within its borders. The findings in this dissertation call for rethinking the “powerless state” thesis in globalization studies and moving beyond the dichotomous discourses on Asian regional development under globalization: neoliberal convergence vs. the return of the developmental state. This dissertation also examines the role of networked users during changes in mobile Internet standardization and wireless telephone numbering policy. This dissertation identifies that self-organized and self-informed users in online communities emerged as actors who influenced policy changes. Furthermore, in the case of wireless telephone numbering policy, networked users exhibited a new form of effective online democracy where online participation and legal mobilization for policy change were linked with each other. The findings in this dissertation call for rethinking the role of individual users in contributing to the open and democratic policy-making process.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Cheol Gi Bae
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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