This study is informed by the theorizing prompted by recent work on state rescaling. I aim to examine the interaction between the top‐down and bottom‐up rescaling processes that took place in the South Korean developmental state during the late 1960s and early 1970s. I focus on a regionalism that both built a regional scale and influenced the hegemonic crisis of the ruling regime. Specifically, the study illustrates the features of state space that were shaped during the developmental era and the factors that allow state space to be stable and coherent. By dealing with these questions, I provide a possible interpretation of why and how regionalism was a crucial factor in the hegemonic crisis of the 1960s and generated a rescaling of state space. What makes this study significant is not merely the fact that this space is located in East Asia. It could also, more generally, open up an alternative perspective on state rescaling during the early stages of state‐led industrialization.