This paper articulates an interpretation of neighborhood community reconstructionin Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, as instances of social governance from the perspective ofrisk society: an important historical backdrop for community reconstruction in EastAsia. The paper is composed of six sections. The first clarifies conceptual strategies andhistorical assumptions. Theories of social governance and risk society are merged toproduce the core conceptual framework of this research. The second section explainswhy the three community reconstruction cases presented, namely Seongmisan inSeoul, Qinghe in Beijing, and Setagaya in Tokyo, were chosen for this research. Thethird section attempts to trace the origin of risk society to specific developmentalstrategies in East Asia, rooted in the state-centered bureaucratic-authoritarian rush fordevelopment. Such analysis clarifies the dual aspects of East Asian modernity, brightachievement and risk society, as two sides of the same coin. The fourth section examinespublic perception of risks in Seoul, Beijing, and Tokyo, based on citizens’ survey data. The fifth section is an empirical analysis of risk society formation in terms of socialconstruction and discursive formation. The final section extends to cover public anxietyand risk demonstration as a driving force for the social governance of risk.
This paper attempts to articulate the concepts of individualization and neighborhoodcommunity reconstruction in close relations as dual aspects of the same coin—considering the strong community reconstruction experience in East Asia. So far,seldom has it been attempted to draw out this reciprocal relation in empiricalresearch. Individualization has been widely discussed but with negligible attentionto community reconstruction, and vice versa. Against this, the author attempts tograsp individualization and community reconstruction as concomitant historicalchanges in East Asia. The findings are as follows: first, through a review of the mainoutcomes of the researches on individualization in the West and East Asia, it turnedout that individualization in the East is “family-oriented” or “community-oriented”individualization, different from that of the one-way development in the West. Second,through a review of empirical researches on consequences of individualization oncommunity life— such as mutual help and solidarity— it turned out that consequencesare mostly negative in East Asia. This enforced individualization tends to increasethe level of anxiety in everyday life while the integrative function of the communitydecreases, leading to neighborhood community reconstruction efforts for the desirablefuture of the city.
With a population of 1.4 billion people, China is undergoing perhaps the largest scaleurbanization in human history and experiencing a great transformation towardmodernization. Against this background, a multidisciplinary research team fromTsinghua University initiated a social governance experiment in the Qinghe subdistrictof Beijing in 2014. This expert-led social intervention and research project has beenknown as the New Qinghe Experiment (NQE), to distinguish it from an earlier Qingheexperiment, which focused on rural development, conducted by a group of Yenchingsociologists in the period of 1928–1937. The goal of the NQE is to identify and solvesocial problems existent in urban communities, and to explore a new governance modelfor urban communities in highly populated mega-cities such as Beijing. In this paper,we lay out the challenges faced by local communities in urban China and introduce theNQE’s pilot projects and working mechanisms. We conclude that the NQE is of importanttheoretical and practical significance as an innovative model of social governance.
Applying the arguments of Michel Foucault’s dividing practices, this study analyzesthe discourses that emerged during the discussion over the Busan Hyeongje Bokjiwon(Brothers Home) scandal, which occurred in 1987, to weaken the epistemic premisesof the principle of normalization, a primary ideology of social welfare knowledge. The principle of normalization is grounded in the notion that it is right to help thebeneficiaries of welfare services to access what is considered normal by the statisticalmajority of society. Yet, the theory fails to provide sufficient explanation for whatcultural normality is and who forms it. The results of this analysis show that theKorean experience of abnormalities had been formed not in a way towards reducingor eliminating the punishment of people defined as abnormal. Rather, such personswere exposed to claims that they should be observed through rational gazes and edifiedthrough labor ethics. Defining abnormality in Korea was another epistemological formof punishment. This is a compressed version of Foucault’s argument that punishmentfor abnormal people inevitably entails strict judgment, exclusion, and punishment. Theexperience still remains, under the principle of normalization, as a primarily practicalideology in clinical medicine and social welfare.
The Yongsan Garrison, which has housed foreign troops in the central cityscape ofSeoul since the late 19th century, is to be returned and reintegrated into the greaterSeoul Metropolitan City in 2018, once the United States Forces in Korea (USFK) movesto its new headquarters located southwest of the capital. Prior to the current transition,the Yongsan landscape underwent two previous transformations: first, the constructionof the foreign military base (1904–1908) and its occupancy by the Japanese ImperialArmy; and second, the conversion from a Japanese imperial center to an AmericanCold War headquarters. This study historicizes the second transfiguration byexamining the “transitional” process through which the U.S. military “rehabilitated”Yongsan landscape during the early Cold War period, from 1945 through the late1960s. In Yongsan, the militarized landscape and its coloniality are evident in the“Americanism” built atop the remnants of the Japanese imperial space. This particularmilitarized landscape encompassed the dominant Americanism expressed in thehybridized built-structures and the Little Americas constructed within the garrisonand in the vernacular landscapes of camptowns that functioned as inter-dependentextensions of the camps. The Americanism engendered in this militarized landscaperepresented both the lure of the materialism and the American modern of camps aswell as its coloniality reinforced in the racially stratified, gendered and sexualized,andhighly temporary and ultimately dispensable spaces of camptowns.
The purposes of this paper are to analyze how three South Korean scholars—Kim Junyop,Min Tu-ki, and Rhee Yeung-hui—interpreted modern China during the Cold Warera and thereby show that the development of South Korean studies on modern Chinesehistory was linked to the global Cold War. It was only after the Korean War that SouthKoreans began to study modern Chinese history in earnest. Despite anticommunistpressure on academic interests in the field, South Korean interpretations of modernChinese history at the time were not uniform. For example, Min viewed it as thehistory of the establishment of a modern state, while Rhee saw it as the history of therevolutionary movement to overcome Western modernity. What is also interestingis that each type of interpretation matched its proponent’s attitudes toward andunderstanding of modernization. More precisely, each researcher’s understanding ofmodernization was an important and powerful argument for his interpretation anddescription of modern Chinese history. In this sense, it can be said that South Koreanstudies of modern Chinese history during the Cold War era were the products ofintellectual activities that included selective acceptance, reinterpretation, and criticismof the cultural Cold War symbolized by modernization theory.