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Title: Politics of disaster in the post-developmental state : Seoul and Jeju, Korea
Author: Park, Hyungguen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 9424
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores political reflections on the emerging risks of hazard and climate change in the post-developmental South Korean state. Several cases of both actual and anticipated risk are investigated regarding contribution to reshaping a political landscape in which change might unfold. Three analytical frames (changes in social expectation, institutional change and social innovation) are elaborated. In addition, the Risk Society thesis (and its Korean counterpart dual-risk society thesis), studies of disaster and climate change adaptation inform this research. Employing a multifocal lens, the thesis problematises conventional, apolitical approaches to disaster risk, particularly in terms of their dichotomous conceptualisation of society and nature. This research finds critical realism appropriate, due in particular to its ontological account of power relations and the driving forces of change. Using informal interviews, reviews of existing, relevant literature, as well as observation, this thesis reclaims the political space of the discourse of development and disaster risk. Issues of hazard, risk and climate change were found unfamiliar to most of the interviewees. There also emerged a translation issue between Korean and English during the stage of data analysis. The ways that these challenges were overcome are explained in detail. This thesis contains strong evidence to suggest that disasters triggered by natural hazards and changing risk perception in Korea have surfaced as a political issue. More importantly, this research finds that hazard and risk can shake the existing discursive space in which alternative ideas can possibly transform into wider societal change. For this reason, issues like DRR and CCA can also be kept apolitical by existing discursive alliances that can benefit from ideological and institutional stability. The thesis concludes by pinpointing the importance of steering different forms of freedom for the fruits of incremental change to transform into the disaster-specific resilience that is key to transformative CCA.
Supervisor: Mustafa, Daanish ; Pelling, Mark Adam Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available