|The Korean Studies list brought a notice of the International Korean Studies Conference at the University of Wollongong in Australia 11 and 12 November this year with an interesting theme The Park Era: A Reassessment After 25 Years.|
2004 marks the 25th year since Park's assassination, and yet his legacy lives on, underlining the position of great importance the Park era holds in South Korea's development as a nation. The Republic of Korea has been guided by five administrations over the past 25 years, but among these it is the Park administration that marks the turning point in Korea's modernization, and South Korea today is in many respects the product of that era.Love him or hate him, appreciate what happened to South Korea during his rule or be critical or both at the same time, there he stays in the minds of people.
The Park regime was, furthermore, a central player and agent in the political, economic and social conflicts that mark the period and drew much of the world's attention to the peninsula. It is therefore essential to our understanding of South Korea as a modern democracy and economic powerhouse that we reassess this administration.
The conference theme, The Park Era: A Reassessment After 25 Years, reflects some of the key questions that need to be examined by academics and other commentators on Korean affairs, about how Korean culture, psychology, democracy and national infrastructure has come to be what it is today. It also reflects the need for a deeper understanding of the importance this era holds in Korea's modern experience, based on analysis of new materials and enhanced by fresh approaches to a period characterized by widely divergent ideological commitments.
This search for a new understanding is given added importance by rapid change in the global environment driven by the rise of the United States of America's unilateralism and its categorisation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a core member of the "axis of evil", the globalisation of South Korea's industry, and the ever watchful eye of the world on Korean economic and security matters.
Categories at del.icio.us/hunjang: academic ∙ Koreanstudies ∙ Koreanpolitics ∙ contemp.history ∙ Koreanhistory