London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

The Korean Welfare State: Social Investment in an Aging Society

The birth and remarkable expansion of Korean social welfare policy over the last several decades has taken place amidst the socio-economic burdens of a rapidly aging society. This book surveys these developments through the analytic lens of the Social Investment State, under which contemporary policies have altered the essential character of the 20th century welfare … [Read More]

Cornerstone of the Nation: The Defense Industry and the Building of Modern Korea under Park Chung Hee

Cornerstone of the Nation is the first historical account of the complex alliance of military and civilian forces that catapulted South Korea’s conjoined militarization and industrialization under Park Chung Hee (1961–1979). Kwon reveals how Park’s secret program to build an independent defense industry spurred a total mobilization of business, science, labor, and citizenry, all of … [Read More]

Seeds of Mobilization: The Authoritarian Roots of South Korea’s Democracy

South Korea is sometimes held as a dream case of modernization theory, a testament to how economic development leads to democracy. Seeds of Mobilization takes a closer look at the history of South Korea to show that Korea’s advance to democracy was not linear. Instead, while Korea’s national economy grew dramatically under the regimes of Park Chung … [Read More]

The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics

South Korea is best-known for its economic development, democratic transition and consolidation, vibrant civil society, and emergence as a cultural powerhouse. The Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics presents and analyses contemporary South Korean politics, bringing together domestic political, economic, social cultural, and demographic developments and putting them in the context of trends in fellow … [Read More]

Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads

An ethnography of advertising in postmillennial South Korea, Flower of Capitalism: South Korean Advertising at a Crossroads details contests over advertising freedoms and obligations among divergent vested interests while positing far-reaching questions about the social contract that governs advertising in late-capitalist societies. The term “flower of capitalism” is a clichéd metaphor for advertising in South Korea, bringing … [Read More]

A Global History of Ginseng: Imperialism, Modernity and Orientalism

Sul’s history of the international ginseng trade reveals the cultural aspects of international capitalism and the impact of this single commodity on relations between East and West. Ginseng emerged as a major international commodity in the seventeenth century, when the East India Company began trading it westward. Europeans were drawn to the plant’s efficacy as … [Read More]

Supercorporate: Distinction and Participation in Post-Hierarchy South Korea

What should South Korean offices look like in a post-hierarchical world? In Supercorporate, anthropologist Michael M. Prentice examines a central tension in visions of big corporate life in South Korea’s twenty-first century: should corporations be sites of fair distinction or equal participation? As South Korea distances itself from images and figures of a hierarchical past, Prentice … [Read More]

Confronting South Korea’s Next Crisis: Rigidities, Polarization, and Fear of Japanification

South Korea’s economic miracle is a well-known story. However, today Korea is confronting a new set of internal and external risks, which may foreshadow the next crisis. The Korean economy has been struggling with the faltering growth momentum and the rise of unprecedented socio-economic problems over recent years well before the pandemic crisis. After abrupt … [Read More]

Historical Statistics of Korea

This book presents economic statistics of Korea in the past three centuries, focusing on the century following 1910. The data, typically time series rather than cross-sectional, are given in 22 chapters, which refer to population, wages, prices, education, health, national income and wealth, and technology, among others. Rather than simply putting together available data, the … [Read More]

Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea

The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea offers a ground-breaking study of the socio-political development of the Korean peninsula in the contemporary period. Written by an international team of scholars and experts, contributions to this book address key intellectual questions in the development of Korean studies, projecting new ways of thinking about how international systems … [Read More]

Women in the Sky: Gender and Labor in the Making of Modern Korea

From the publisher’s website: Women in the Sky examines Korean women factory workers’ century-long activism, from the 1920s to the present, with a focus on gender politics both in the labor movement and in the larger society. It highlights several key moments in colonial and postcolonial Korean history when factory women commanded the attention of the wider … [Read More]

Stitching the 24-Hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

From the publisher’s website: Stitching the 24-Hour City reveals the intense speed of garment production and everyday life in Dongdaemun, a lively market in Seoul, South Korea. Once the site of uprisings against oppressive working conditions in the 1970s and 1980s, Dongdaemun has now become iconic for its creative economy, nightlife, fast-fashion factories, and shopping plazas. Seo … [Read More]

Financial Liberalization and Economic Development in Korea, 1980–2020

Since the early 1980s, Korea’s financial development has been a tale of liberalization and opening. After the 1997 financial crisis, great strides were made in building a market-oriented financial system through sweeping reforms for deregulation and the opening of financial markets. However, the new system failed to steer the country away from a credit card … [Read More]

Newcomers and Global Migration in Contemporary South Korea: Across National Boundaries

From the publisher’s website: Newcomers and Global Migration in Contemporary South Korea: Across National Boundaries examines the intersections of race, class, gender and inequalities in global migration in contemporary South Korea. The contributors explore South Korean migration policies and study diverse migrants living and working in South Korea as low-wage undocumented workers, refugees, Korean returnees, migrant … [Read More]

Korean Skilled Workers: Toward a Labor Aristocracy

From the publisher’s website: South Korea’s triumphant development has catapulted the country’s economy to the eleventh largest in the world. Large family-owned conglomerates, or chaebŏls, such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, have become globally preeminent manufacturing brands. Yet Korea’s highly disciplined, technologically competent skilled workers who built these brands have become known only for their … [Read More]