More ‘Creative’ Than ‘Destructive’? Synthesizing Schumpeterian and Developmental State Perspectives to Explain Mixed Results in Korea’s Clean Energy Shift

Elizabeth Thurbon, Sung Young Kim, John A. Mathews, Hao Tan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We develop a new way of analysing the state’s strategic role in the clean energy shift. We do so by synthesizing Schumpeterian understandings of ‘creative destruction’ and techno-economic change with cutting-edge developmental state theorizing centred on ‘developmental environmentalism’. Our approach allows us to explain South Korea’s mixed results in the clean energy shift over the 2008–2020 period by focussing on varying degrees of alignment between the state’s ‘creative’ and ‘destructive’ ambitions and capabilities. Following a period of misalignment characterized by a creative emphasis (2008–2015), we have seen growing alignment between the state’s ‘creative’ and ‘destructive’ endeavours (2015–present). On the basis of our analysis, we anticipate that Korea’s hitherto mixed results are likely to give way to more consistent strides towards greening the national economy. Beyond Korea, our fresh analytical approach may be applied to other national contexts, helping to advance broader debates about the state’s strategic role in the clean energy shift.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-290
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Environment and Development
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • clean energy shift
  • creative destruction
  • developmental environmentalism
  • fuel-cell electric vehicles
  • hydrogen
  • Schumpeter
  • South Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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