Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - From Authoritarianism to Democracy: Science Policy in a Changeover Period in South Korea

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Amaltas, Lower Ground Floor

Although the Chun Doo-hwan government (1980-87) was an authoritarian regime, it witnessed the change of science policy over the course of time. This paper will explore science policy in a changeover period focusing on ‘Assembly for the Expansion of Technology Promotion’. The Assembly was Chun government’s main council overseeing matters related to science and technology policy. It was where main issues of the technology drive policy were discussed, and where major announcements regarding the policy were made to the public. The President himself led the council, and cabinet members and politicians of both ruling and opposition parties were associated with the Assembly. The structure and operational mode of the Assembly was authoritarian one, but it adopted a bottom-up approach. With the addition of representatives from various fields in not only economics but other academic and research fields as well, the Assembly was composed of approximately 200 individuals. It tried to reflect diverse opinions and was a starting point of the change in science policy that was more proper to democratic government. Roh Tae-woo government (1988-92) established the procedural democracy and Korea has witnessed the drastic expansion of corporate research institutes founded in the 1980s. Shaped during this era and centering on large corporations, the private sector-led research system has continued up to this day, which was very different from the situation in the 1970s under the authoritarian regimes.

Hyangsuk Shin

Chonbuk National University, Republic of Korea

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