A road to economic development and democracy
After short ceremony of welcoming the students, Korea’s modern history of successfully achieving both remarkable economic development and mature democracy since Korea’s independence in 1945 will be presented. The lecture will highlight several important events which paved the way of industrialization and democratization.
From aid dependence to sustainable development
In the wake of Korean War, Korea was left in the mire of total destruction and Korean economy was just surviving on foreign aid and donation. The mentality of the people was in the state of frustration, pessimism and resignation. Korea was regarded as one of the hopeless countries in the world and even a basket case. The lecture explains how Korea, against such an adverse background, successfully managed to lift itself from aid dependence and secured the necessary capital and technology at the initial stage of industrialization. In particular the lecture focuses on how a sense of ownership and self-help spirit were enhanced to serve as mental basis for national development.
Saemaul Undong (New Village Movement)
Saemaul Undong is a national modernization movement started from rural development campaign in 1970. It is regarded as a driving force behind Korea’s national development with two wings of mental reform and rural development plan. It is a movement for a better life which combined the people’s aspiration to escape from poverty and political commitment to accomplish national modernization. According to a series of recent surveys, Saemaul Undong continued to be recognized as the most important national achievement in Korea for the past 70 years, illustrating the movement’s lasting impact. UNESCO Memory of the World Programme decided to list the archives of Saemaul Undong from the 1970s on the Memory of the World Register in 2013. The lecture explains various important aspects of Saemaul Undong such as background, development process, major tasks, implementation entities, achievements and successful factors.
Development and Democracy
Since the Second World War, Korea is regarded as a highly unique country in the world which has succeeded to achieve both economic development and democracy. Korean development path is widely referred as authoritarian developmentalism or developmental state. Under the strong political leadership, development became a supreme national goal and government played a leading role in industrial development, while some of political rights of the people were restricted. Korea’s economic success eventually paved the way for and facilitated the process of democratization. The lecture discusses the controversial issue of “development first or democracy first” and explains the academic research and precedents of other countries.