Manufacturing Fear: The Construction of a Political Identity on the Korean Right, 1987-2018

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Le séminaire Intelligences de la Corée (I. Sancho, V. Gelézeau, A. Delissen) aura le plaisir d’accueillir la professeure YANG Myungji de l’Université de Hawai‘i (at Mānoa) et chercheure invitée au NIAS (Amsterdam) pour une séance consacrée à la vie politique et aux Droites sud-coréennes.

Date et heure

Vendredi 21 mai 2021, de 10h à 12h

Résumé de l’intervention

This talk tackles broad questions about why some citizens vehemently resist pro-democratic changes and what fuels right-wing mobilization in South Korea. Drawing from ethnographic observation, in-depth interviews, and archival data, I aim to understand how the right has constructed its political identity and mobilized social support, and how its political practices have contributed to particular political outcomes during the post-authoritarian period (1987-present). Despite the arrival of electoral democracy in 1987 and changing geopolitical conditions, the Korean right has continued to deploy anti-communist rhetoric to condemn liberal progressive groups, accusing them of undermining the Republic of Korea. Exploring how right-wing elites and intellectuals capitalize on Cold War geopolitical contestation and glorify the national modernization projects of authoritarian regimes, this talk will demonstrate how the Korean right has constructed ideological and organizational infrastructures and maintained its hegemonic position in the post-authoritarian period. My research will broaden our understanding of the challenges and difficulties associated with the persistence of right-wing authoritarian legacies after democratic transitions.

Présentation de l’intervenante

Myungji Yang is an associate professor of political science at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa, and is currently a research fellow at Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). Her broad research interests include social movements, class politics, and the political economy of development, especially South Korea. She is the author of From Miracle to Mirage: The Making and Unmaking of the Korean Middle Class, 1960–2015 (Cornell University Press, 2018). Her recent research deals with strains and challenges of democratic life in South Korea during the post-transition period, with a particular focus on right-wing mobilization.


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