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Hope, crisis, and pragmatism in democratic transition
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How does civil society come together and disperse inside a rapidly industrialised and democratised nation? South Korean civil movement organisations is an ethnographic study of the social movements and advocacy organisations inside South Korea as well as practical methods in democratic transition more generally. The book is based on two years of fieldwork inside a handful of NGOs, NPOs, and think tanks in Seoul as the ‘386 generation’ came to lead during the Roh Moo Hyun presidency (2003-8). It is a rich exploration of the many crises, hopes, practical projects and pragmatic theories that animated South Korean activists, coordinators, lawyers, politicians, ‘social designers’ and academics of various stripes. From the Citizens’ Alliance for the 2000 General Elections (CAGE) to the 2002 World Cup co-hosted by Japan and South Korea, this book tells the stories of consequence to freshly render South Korean politics relevant to many Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and North as well as South American contexts. At the same time, it uniquely frames the theoretical and methodological moments for new ethnographies through the shared, yet disparate experiences of pragmatism, (social) design, and (democratic) transition.

Heike Wieters

American voluntary agencies and the“aid rush” to Korea 1 In a [… free] society, voluntary agencies are a healthy component providing faith, devotion, know-how and leadership in dealing with the mental, physical and spiritual needs of man. 2

in The NGO CARE and food aid From America, 1945–80
Abstract only
Amy Levine

1 Entanglements [T]he general difficulty of attaining unity over means, let alone ends, among people who have been robbed of political power. (Kenneth M. Wells) Despite the frequent and approving outside mentions of democracy and civil society in South Korea, many who worked inside the organisations charged with promoting democracy and civil society spoke more about the threats, failures, crises, and overall weaknesses they faced. One colleague, Scholar Lee, went so far as to assert in 2004: ‘there is no civil society, only civil groups [in South Korea] (simin

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Abstract only
Amy Levine

Introduction Key fields, sites of historical importance, and praxes (hyeonjang) An activist who worked for a major civil movement organisation based in Seoul was bitingly critical of nearly every US policy in South Korea. Upon first learning that I am American, she remarked: ‘at least that means you’re practical (siryongjeok)’. She went on to say that unless Korean civil movement organisations got more practical and engaged in ‘the field, site of historical importance, and praxis (hyeonjang)’ then they would become obsolete. Meanwhile her boss similarly worried

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Amy Levine

-liberal governance in South Korea. This was particularly true during the Roh Moo Hyun administration, which remade relations between government and civil organisations. While some critiqued this pragmatic demand, others took it as an invitation to pragmatically change. Lawyer Park (Pak Byeonhosanim) is an exemplary figure of the latter. He necessitates a chapter rather than a short history because of the scaled up figure he cuts in Korean law and politics. Lawyer Park is a prominent ‘first generation’1 civil leader who elicited deep passions and large aspirations among the civil

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Abstract only
Amy Levine

as social scientists and theorists have sought an empirical or material way to know people’s ideas, beliefs, and commitments, activists have sought the same. Amanda Snellinger writes, ‘Hardship reconfirms the nature of selflessness and devotion to the country that people exercise through political struggle’ (2007: 354). Thomas Yarrow theorises sacrifice as a kind of ‘currency’ among activists to demonstrate morality and commitment (2005: 55). Beyond college and lucrative jobs, activists in South Korea have sacrificed filial well-being, normative social connections

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Abstract only
Amy Levine

fieldsites, Korean studies, and in anthropological and social theory more broadly. However, I have approached crisis as the ground and pragmatism as the figure, so as to refigure ethnographic analysis as an anticipatory process rather than a pragmatic response to an always already emergent world. In this approach, I follow colleagues in Seoul who stretched the limits of anticipation and rescaled agency as well as theory. Many faced obviation and/or anticipated it in order to avoid obsolescence or irrelevance. There was both analysis and reanalysis as semantic and pragmatic

in South Korean civil movement organisations
Ruth Holliday
,
Meredith Jones
, and
David Bell

translation, as we will explore now with reference to Chinese cosmetic surgery tourists in South Korea. Cosmetic surgery tourism to South Korea Our Korean fieldwork revealed that regional rather than global dynamics have a major part to play in the flows of cosmetic surgery tourists and the 150 Beautyscapes: mapping cosmetic surgery tourism ­ evelopment of destinations. Rather than the simplistic, globally homogenisd ing model of medical tourism assumed in much of the literature, the geography operates at a variety of spatial scales, and these scales (local, regional

in Beautyscapes
Abstract only
Heike Wieters

’s leaders consciously forged alliances with US agricultural producers, the US government, other NGOs, and political leaders all over the world. They thereby turned CARE into a major advocate for the use and distribution of American agricultural products in the Global South. As a food relief agency, CARE was present during the wars in Korea and Vietnam, at the Suez crisis in Egypt, in Colombia and Nicaragua

in The NGO CARE and food aid From America, 1945–80
Heike Wieters

Japan and Korea. Thus, shortly afterwards the first exploratory visits to these two countries were conducted by CARE staffers. 101 By early 1948 CARE had officially expanded its services beyond Europe to Asia and opened its first offices in Tokyo and the port city of Busan, South Korea (see Chapter 3 ). 102 Shortly afterwards, Paul French was authorized to investigate the possibilities for

in The NGO CARE and food aid From America, 1945–80