Organized Panel Session
This presentation compares the Special Act on Jeju-do Development enacted in the early 1990s and the Special act on Jeju Free International City since the mid 2000s, examining how those two acts enable diverse forms of dispossession in Jeju and speculative accumulation of outside (mainland and foreign) capitals at the same time. Situating Jeju as a exceptional, post-colonial, and neoliberal space, the two acts foster the developmental discourses by nurturing the notion of Jeju’s “underdevelopment”, thus allows the radical degree of relaxation of multiple kinds of regulations. This paper gives attention to the ways in which developmental discourses are materialized as mega-projects and how such construction of spectacles is associated with speculative investment. The developmental gains, however, are not necessarily spatially congruent, often facilitating the accumulation of outside capitals and exacerbating dispossessions in the locality. I will also examine the local residents’ efforts to resist dispossession, assert self-determination and democracy, or explore rent-seeking opportunities, reacting to such central government-imposed development projects.