In recent years, non-traditional or ‘emerging’ donors such as South Korea have organised their development cooperation models in a manner that seeks to complement the capacities of the private sector by extending the overseas activities of domestic businesses. To better understand this process, this article examines the role of South Korea’s large, family-led conglomerates (chaebol) in its growing international development sector. In particular, we focus on how the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been used to link the role of its large, and frequently scandal-ridden, private companies to international development, and, by extension, how it has helped to internationalise state–business networks long associated with the Korean developmental state. We examine two strategies through which this has been carried out. The first is by extending the logic of creating shared value (CSV, a derivative of CSR) to aid and infrastructure projects in which chaebol and other state-linked businesses have participated. The second is by directly embedding CSR-based aid initiatives in the value chains of the specific chaebol themselves.
- corporate social responsibility
- development cooperation
- developmental state
- emerging donors
Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms
- Global Development Institute