The Double Project of Modernity
Ambivalences of national statehood in divided Korea. Is a ‘normal’ modern state desirable or achievable, or is modernity here necessarily a project of both adaptation and overcoming? And might the Korean case offer insights into the problematic of modernity elsewhere?
Political Cultures of South Korea
The presidential victory of Park Geun-Hye, the dictator’s daughter, as bid for a refurbished conservative hegemony in the ROK. Origins of the elite in colonial collaboration and anti-Communist modernization, and its attempts to re-hegemonize the country’s historical trajectory.
Contesting the Peninsula
Heightened insecurity and inequality as outcomes of a decade of centre-left rule in South Korea. Can neoliberalism advance further across the ROK’s shifting political terrain, as a newly elected President’s popularity crumbles in face of public resentment?
The Korean Crisis and the End of 'Late' Development
“The Asian economic crisis has created a watershed in contemporary history, where questions long buried by the demise of Western communism and a militant Left in the democratic countries amid an appallingly self-congratulatory liberal triumphalism, now come sharply to the fore. A systematic failure of capitalism has struck . . .” read more
National Unification and Popular Sovereignty
“Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, new states have been emerging in fast-moving sequence—whether through the secession of formerly ‘autonomous’ territories, or through the reunification of national states that had fallen into dependence and partition. These would appear to be only the clearest symptoms that a phenomenon . . .” read more
Habermas on National Unification in Germany and Korea
“Jürgen Habermas’s public lecture in Seoul on ‘National Unification and Popular Sovereignty’ came as a welcome intervention for those Koreans committed to a reunification process which would be both peaceful and democratic. Although little of what he said, even on German unity, was entirely new to many of . . .” read more
Kim Country: Hard Times in North Korea
“With the Cold War having run its course, the cement in which the Korean ‘problem’ was embedded for nearly half a century cracks and the Cold War supports upon which the system of confrontation rested begin to crumble. Witnesses long intimidated, isolated or silenced by the many walls . . .” read more
South Korea: Unification and the Democratic Challenge
“The victory of the ruling party candidate Kim Young-sam over Kim Dae-jung in the recent (December 1992) Presidential election marks a significant milestone in South Korean politics. Obviously it promises less of a change than an oppositional victory, but the mere fact that the winner is the first . . .” read more
The Abortive Abertura: South Korea in the Light of Latin American Experience
“I wish in this essay to peer through the Latin American looking glass, or abertura, to see what light may be shed on the ongoing struggle to democratize the South Korean political system. In Latin America the richest literature on the problems and prospects of democratization emerged along . . .” read more
The North Korean Enigma
“North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (dprk), is an isolated enigma in Northeast Asia. No state in the world lives with such a wide gap between its own self-image and self-presentation as a socialist ‘paradise on earth’ and the view of most of the rest . . .” read more
Opposition in South Korea
“South Korea is a country where the words ‘Yankee, Go Home’ can be punished by one year’s imprisonment under the Anti-communist Law, and where a judge can tell an opposition presidential candidate that ‘the freedom of speech prescribed in the Constitution does not mean unlimited freedom’. The government’s . . .” read more
Introduction to Article on South Korea
“Korea is to-day a country of 50 million people, strategically located, and a focus of interest for all the major powers. Up to 1945 the country was a plundered colony of imperial Japan, and the Japanese have rebuilt a powerful position in the southern part of Korea. 40,000 . . .” read more