Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Kajimura Hideki’s Criticism of “Park Chung-Hee Modernity”

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Willow, First Floor

After the April 19 democratization movement in South Korea in 1960, interest in the theory of modernization was high. Park Chung-Hee, who took power in 1961 through a coup, put economic development as a top priority. Many have blamed the Park regime for the non-democratic and authoritarian features. However, Kajimura Hideki asserted that the insistence that Korea’s modernization was not a true modernization could no longer be a critique of the Park regime, and instead emphasized that the Korean phenomenon should be accepted as “modernized contradiction”. The two pillars for the economic development of the Park Chung-Hee regime were the Korea-Japan economic cooperation and the dispatch of troops to Vietnam. Kajimura considered that the nationalism of the Park regime was related to the nationalistic character of the South Korean capitalism. He also paid attention to the Korean desire of the modernization of the country and the enactment of national prestige which appeared in the dispatch of troops. Kajimura thought that it was impossible to criticize the Park regime and the theory of modernization without perceiving the presence of the people who supported the Park regime. Kajimura even used the term “Park Chung-Hee modernity” and thought of it as a repetition of the ugly modernity of Japan. But he found the people who resisted while being subjected to the Park Chung-Hee regime. He had focused on the people’s struggle to defend their living world. By finding the people and relativizing the modernity, Kajimura was able to overcome the theory of unilinear development.

Jong-wook Hong

Seoul National University, Germany


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3 - Kajimura Hideki’s Criticism of “Park Chung-Hee Modernity”

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