Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies

Committee Director

Kidane Mengisteab

Committee Member

Justin Friberg

Committee Member

Kae Chung


This paper compares the development of Korea and Brazil, 1950-85. These newly industrialized countries developed at above-average rates among less developed countries. Korea developed more rapidly than Brazil. The paper contends that institutions, interest groups (especially firms) and the state, enter into developmental alliances. Alliances affect policies. Policies, then, affect development.

Findings reveal interesting trends in the 1950s' democracies of the cases. Both countries had semi-autonomous states, equivocally committed to industrialization. Industry was the growth point in each. Korea used local firms to industrialize; Brazil used foreign firms. In both cases, the state allied itself with firms. Policy mostly favored industrialization. Both countries experienced comparable rates of industrialization.

Findings of the 1960s-1980s' bureaucratic-authoritarianisms (B-A) of the cases also reveal interesting trends. While the state became more autonomous with B-A in both cases, the Korean state became more autonomous. Korea developed an unequivocal commitment to industrialization; Brazil retained its lukewarm industrial commitment. Brazil formed an alliance with public firms to modernize in the 1970s; Korea turned to large local capital. Korea's policy was myopically pro-industrial; Brazil's policy was not as narrowly pro-industrial. Korea displayed phenomenally higher rates of development during B-A than it exhibited in democracy. Brazil continued at a pace comparable to the democratic period.

The paper finds the following conclusions. Autonomous states with high commitment to economic development maximize development. Firm types that optimize economic development are local. Primary developmental alliances of state with fins augment development. Pervasive, pro-industrial policies expand development. To the extent that both cases possessed these characteristics, they developed rapidly. Since Korea possessed these qualities to a greater extent than Brazil, Korea developed more rapidly.