South Korean civil movement organisations

Hope, crisis, and pragmatism in democratic transition

Author: Amy Levine

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.

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