Over the last half-century, South Korea has experienced momentous economic, political, and social transformations tied to its rapid industrialization. This paper utilizes economic nationalism as a mechanism for exploring the interplay of continuity and change across several key periods of this developmental epoch. It identifies the specific ways nationalism was incorporated into the developmental politics of the Park Chung Hee era (1961-1979) and in turn how these ideological legacies weighed upon Kim Young Sam’s globalization (segyehwa) agenda (1993-1997). In pursuing these aims the paper draws from a set analytical tools developed by a group of scholars seeking to reestablish the connection between economic nationalism and the mass politics roots of nationalism itself. It finds that tracing the specific ways in which nationalism was employed in the service of economic ends during the Park era sheds light on the contentious politics of segyehwa and the particular strategies the Kim administration embraced in promoting its policies. Additionally, given the increasing prominence of nationalist politics around the globe, the paper potentially speaks to a much wider set of cases through its theoretical and empirical insights into the intersection of technical and ideological issues entwined with economic liberalization.