This book explores the dynamic changes now taking place in the South Korean government as a result of recent social and economic liberalization. Sung Deuk Hahm and L. Christopher Plein trace the emergence in Korea of a post-developmental state, in which both increasingly autonomous capital interests and growing public expectations of a higher quality of life challenge existing authoritarian institutions. Separating out the constituent parts of the Korean state, they then explore the evolving roles of the Korean presidency and bureaucracy in setting national policy.
The authors analyze the importance of social and cultural factors, as well as the motives of individual political actors, in shaping institutional change in Korea. They show how shifting socioeconomic conditions have altered the way political decisions are made. Hahm and Plein illustrate these transitions with concrete examples of policy making in the area of technology development and transfer—an area of critical importance to Korea's rapid modernization.
Cultures of Yusin examines the turbulent and yet deeply formative years of Park Chung Hee’s rule in South Korea, focusing on the so-called Yusin era (1972–79). Beginning with the constitutional change that granted dictatorial powers to the president and ending with his assassination, Yusin was a period of extreme political repression coupled with widespread mobilization of the citizenry towards the statist gospel of modernization and development. While much has been written about the political and economic contours of this period, the rich complexity of its cultural production remains obscure. This edited volume brings together a wide range of scholars to explore literature, film, television, performance, music, and architecture, as well as practices of urban and financial planning, consumption, and homeownership. Examining the plural forms of culture’s relationship to state power, the authors illuminate the decade of the 1970s in South Korea and offer an essential framework for understanding contemporary Korean society.
This pathbreaking study presents a feminist analysis of the politics of membership in the South Korean nation over the past four decades. Seungsook Moon examines the ambitious effort by which South Korea transformed itself into a modern industrial and militarized nation. She demonstrates that the pursuit of modernity in South Korea involved the construction of the anticommunist national identity and a massive effort to mold the populace into useful, docile members of the state. This process, which she terms “militarized modernity,” treated men and women differently. Men were mobilized for mandatory military service and then, as conscripts, utilized as workers and researchers in the industrializing economy. Women were consigned to lesser factory jobs, and their roles as members of the modern nation were defined largely in terms of biological reproduction and household management.
Moon situates militarized modernity in the historical context of colonialism and nationalism in the twentieth century. She follows the course of militarized modernity in South Korea from its development in the early 1960s through its peak in the 1970s and its decline after rule by military dictatorship ceased in 1987. She highlights the crucial role of the Cold War in South Korea’s militarization and the continuities in the disciplinary tactics used by the Japanese colonial rulers and the postcolonial military regimes. Moon reveals how, in the years since 1987, various social movements—particularly the women’s and labor movements—began the still-ongoing process of revitalizing South Korean civil society and forging citizenship as a new form of membership in the democratizing nation.
For South Koreans, the early 1960s to late 1970s were the best and worst of times—a period of unprecedented economic growth and deepening political oppression. Carter J. Eckert finds the roots of this dramatic socioeconomic transformation in the country’s long history of militarization, personified in South Korea’s paramount leader, Park Chung Hee.
The Park Chung Hee Era
Byung-Kook Kim Harvard University Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS922.35.P336 2011 | Dewey Decimal 951.95043092
In 1959 South Korea was mired in poverty. By 1979, it had a powerful industrial economy and a vibrant civil society that led to democracy eight years later. This volume examines the transformation as a study in the politics of modernization, contextualizing many historical ambiguities in South Korea’s trajectory toward sustainable economic growth.