Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Revolutions from above: worker training as trasformismo in South Korea

By Phoebe Moore


While making very substantial changes to the population's working conditions, government strategies to foster economic development in South Korea have historically attempted to keep worker involvement, in terms of influence on the process, to a bare minimum. Applying the Gramscian concept of passive revolution, this article analyses governance mechanisms and production relations over a history of authoritarianism and up to the contemporary period of democratic reform. Trasformismo, which is a strategy of limited concessions, has been provided via vocational training for workers. Despite this attempt at inclusion, it is concluded that workers have not enjoyed full participation in negotiation for their welfare at any time in Korean history

Topics: L243 Politics of a specific country/region, L712 Human and Social Geography of Asia
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1177/030981680508600104
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1949/1999) Il Risorgimento [referenced in text as Risorgimento].
  2. (1949/1999) Note sul Machiavelli, sulla politica e sullo Stato moderno [referenced in text as NM].
  3. (2002b) ‘Attacking the poor’,
  4. (2001). [Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation Managing un Reform]
  5. (1999). [Minister of Labour]
  6. (2004). A critical theory route to hegemony, world order and historical change: NeoGramscian perspectives doi
  7. (2002). A Preliminary Strategy to Develop a Knowledge Economy in European Union Accession Countries, prepared for the Knowledge Economy Forum (Paris,
  8. (1999). A proposal for a comprehensive development framework memo to the board, management and staff of the World Bank Group’, World Bank,
  9. (2000). Action against Investment Treaties and theCapital & Class #86 70 wto (KoPA), online at index.html> Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training (krivet), online at rabout.cgi> ______
  10. (1986). Africa’s continuing crisis: The elusiveness of development’,
  11. (2000). America Unrivaled: doi
  12. (1990). American Hegemony and the Trilateral Commission (Cambridge University Press). ______ doi
  13. (1999). and future world order’, in Approaches to World Order doi
  14. (1989). Asia’s Next Giant: South Korea and Late Industrialization doi
  15. (1991). Beautiful Imperialist: China Perceives America, doi
  16. (1989). Beneath the Miracle: Labour Subordination in the New Asian Industrialism (University of California Press) doi
  17. (1999). Contesting the hegemony of market ideology: Gramsci’s “good sense” and Polanyi’s “double movement”’, doi
  18. (1996). Cultural awareness’, in Understanding Koreans
  19. (1999). East Asian skill formation systems and the challenge of globalisation’, doi
  20. et al (2000) ‘Overturning “globalization”: Resisting teleology, reclaiming politics’,
  21. (2000). Globalisation and the Enlargement of the European Union: Austrian and Swedish Social Forces in the Struggle over Membership (Routledge) London. ______ doi
  22. (2002). Globalization and transformation of human resource management in South Korea’, doi
  23. (2000). Globalization and workers in South Korea’,
  24. (1983). Gramsci, hegemony and International Relations: An essay in method’, in Millennium: doi
  25. (1982). Gramsci’s Political Thought: An Introduction (Lawrence & doi
  26. (1981). Gramsci’s Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process (Oxford University doi
  27. (1987). Gramsci’s Politics, 2nd edition
  28. (1986). Hegemony doi
  29. (1980). Hegemony and Revolution: A Study of Antonio Gramsci’s Political and Cultural Theory (University of California Press) Berkely and Los Angeles. doi
  30. (1997). Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice
  31. koilaf (1999b) Labour Relations
  32. (1999). Korea’s affair with globalization: Deconstructing segyehwa’,
  33. (1997). Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History doi
  34. (1977). Labour and hegemony’, in Approaches to World Order doi
  35. (2000). Labour and ipe: Rediscovering human agency’,
  36. Labour Federation (koilaf) (1999a) ‘Guidelines for collective bargaining: Labour, management and the government’ (koilaf) Seoul.
  37. (1999). Labour sector reforms gaining speed: Ministry of Labour decides to operate the second-term labour reform task force’, International Co-operation Division, online at>
  38. (1991). Liberal democracy in Africa’, doi
  39. (2001). Making the poor work for globalisation?’
  40. (1999). online at> Leadbeater,
  41. (1982). Passive revolution and the politics of reform’, doi
  42. (1994). Pre-Prison Writings, edited by
  43. (1995). Producing Hegemony: The Politics of Mass Production and American Global Power (Cambridge doi
  44. (1987). Production, Power, and World Order: Social Forces in the Making of History (Columbia doi
  45. (1997). S. Korea general strike answers anti-labor laws’,
  46. (2000). Segyehwa Reform of the South Korean Developmental State’,
  47. (1929). Selections from the Prison Notebooks [referenced in text as ] trans. doi
  48. (1981). Social forces, states and world orders: Beyond international relations theory’, in Millennium: doi
  49. (1997). Social movements for global capitalism: The transnational capitalist class in action’, doi
  50. (1990). South Korea: Dissent Within the Economic Miracle (Zed Books) doi
  51. (2003). Structural change and neoliberalism in Mexico: “Passive Revolution” in the Global Political Economy’, doi
  52. (1999). The Downsizing of Asia (Routledge)
  53. (2000). The evolution of popular support for democracy during Kim Young Sam’s government’,
  54. (1993). The hegemonic transition in East Asia’, doi
  55. (1984). The Long Wave Cycle, doi
  56. (2002). The mother of all governments: The World Bank’s matrix for global governance’, doi
  57. (1994). The New American Workplace: Transforming doi
  58. (1984). The Rate of Growth of the World Economy (The Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica)
  59. (1983). The Republic of Korea (South Korea)’, doi
  60. (1993). The three hegemonies of historical capitalism’, doi
  61. (1998). Transnational Classes and International Relations doi
  62. (1998). Troubled Tiger: Businessmen, Bureaucrats, doi
  63. (1990). What Washington means by policy reform’,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.