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Rights Claiming in South Korea

From the publisher’s website:

Although rights-based claims are diversifying and opportunities and resources for claims-making have improved, obtaining rights protections and catalysing social change in South Korea remain challenging processes. This volume examines how different groups in South Korea have defined and articulated grievances and mobilized to remedy them. It explores developments in the institutional contexts within which rights claiming occurs and in the sources of support available for utilizing different claims-making channels. Drawing on scores of original interviews, readings of court rulings and statutes, primary archival and digital sources, and interpretive analysis of news media coverage in Korean, this volume illuminates rights in action. The chapters uncover conflicts over contending rights claims, expose disparities between theory and practice in the law, trace interconnections among rights-based movements, and map emerging trends in the use of rights language. Case studies examine the rights of women, workers, people with disabilities, migrants, and sexual minorities.

  • Provides comparative and detailed insights into how and when rights claiming works in Korea
  • Includes research from multiple disciplines and about diverse groups of claimants
  • Will appeal to readers in political science, sociology, law, anthropology, history, and other social sciences

About the editors

Celeste L. Arrington is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the George Washington University. She is the author of Accidental Activists: Victim Movements and Government Accountability in Japan and South Korea (Cornell, 2016) and articles in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies and elsewhere.

Patricia Goedde is Professor at Sungkyunkwan University School of Law in South Korea, and a member of the Washington State Bar Association. She serves on the board of directors for the Korea Human Rights Foundation and is also a core faculty member of the SSK Human Rights Forum in Seoul.


Introduction: rights in action | Patricia Goedde and Celeste L. Arrington

Part I. Rights in Historical Perspective:

  1. Legal disputes, women’s legal voice, and petitioning rights in late Joseon Korea | Jisoo M. Kim
  2. Defying claims of legal incompetence: women’s lawsuits over separate property rights in colonial Korea | Sungyun Lim
  3. ‘Equal’ second-class citizens: post-colonial democracy and women’s rights in post-liberation South Korea | Eunkyung Kim

Part II. Institutional Mechanisms for Rights Claiming:

  1. A clash of claims: the diversity and effectiveness of rights claims around the Jeju 4.3 events | Hun Joon Kim
  2. Advancing human rights, advancing a nation: becoming a Seonjinguk via the national human rights commission of Korea | Soo-Young Hwang
  3. The constitutional court as a facilitator of fundamental rights claiming in Korea, 1988–2018 | Hannes B. Mosler
  4. Rights claiming through the courts: changing legal opportunity structures in South Korea | Celeste L. Arrington
  5. Public interest lawyering in South Korea: trends in institutional development | Patricia Goedde

Part III. Mobilizing Rights for the marginalized:

  1. From ‘we are not machines, we are humans’ to ‘we are workers, we want to work’: the changing notion of labour rights in Korea, the 1980s-the 2000s | Yoonkyung Lee
  2. From invisible beneficiaries to independent rights-holders: how the disability rights movement changed the law and Korean society | JaeWon Kim
  3. The politics of postponement and sexual minority rights in South Korea | Ju Hui Judy Han
  4. Discovering diversity: the anti-discrimination legislation movement in South Korea | Jihye Kim and Sung Soo Hong

Part IV. Shaping Rights for New and Non-citizens:

  1. The rights of non-citizenship: migrant rights and hierarchies in South Korea | Erin Aeran Chung
  2. Claiming citizenship: rights claiming and recognition for North Koreans entering South Korea |  Sheena Chestnut Greitens

Conclusion: findings and future directions | Celeste L. Arrington and Patricia Goedde

Entry on here.

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