Between the Streets and the Assembly: South Korean Social Movements before and after Democratization


Welcome to the third NIAS-Korea episode! In this episode, we invite Prof. Yoonkyung Lee to discuss social movements in South Korea. Since its founding, South Korea has had a longstanding social movement history. One cannot fully understand the country’s democratic history without discussing the dynamics of social movements. Yoonkyung explains the main actors of social movements and social movement organizations (SMOs) before and after democratization in the country. She also discusses labor movements and civil society’s demand for economic justice before the democratic transition and how that voice evolved after democratization. If you are interested in the various aspects of the social movements of the country, please join us. Her new book, which is the gist of her extensive research on South Korean social movement, is available here.

About the speaker

Yoonkyung is a professor in the department of sociology at the University of Toronto and a political scientist. She is the author of two books and many journal articles. Her first book, Militants or Partisans: Labor Unions and Democratic Politics in Korea and Taiwan, published with Stanford University Press, explores labor movements in South Korea and Taiwan. Her second book, Between the Streets and the Assembly: Social Movements, Political Parties, and Democracy in Korea, is published this year with the University of Hawaii Press.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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Your Host

Myunghee Lee

Myunghee Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) in the department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen. She is also a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on protest, authoritarian politics, and democratization. Her regional focus is on China and the Korean Peninsula. Her work appears injournals such as International Security, International Studies Review and Politics & Gender.

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