"Koloniale Industrialisierung" in Korea? Eine Kritik an Ulrich Menzel

  • Kim Man-su (Autor/in)

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The theory of "colonial industrialization" proposed by Ulrich Menzel emphasizes "colonial inheritance" as a crucial factor in the rapid industrial growth of South Korea from the 1960's onwards. According to Menzel, enormous investments by the Japanese in building and extending infrastructure, in energy supply, mining and modernization of the Korean state, administration and educational system etc provided Korea with a better start than other developing countries. As a matter of fact, the investment was part and parcel of Japanese exploitation and expropriation, and did not lead to the independent development of Korea. Also, up to 80 % of infrastructure and industry were destroyed in the Korean War. Likewise, through the division of Korea the complementary character of the North (energy, mining and heavy industry) und the South (rice production and light industry) lost their relevance. Moreover, Menzel did not mention why the colonial inheritance failed to have any impact after Korean independence. Also, the Japanese defeat in World War ll did not coincide with any changes in the Korean political situation. All in all, the theory of colonial industrialization is a theory of colonial power, not of the colony itself.