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Title: Historical blocs, organic crises, and inter-Korean relations
Author: Choi, Yong Sub
ISNI:       0000 0004 5924 1773
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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Applying a Gramscian approach, this thesis explores the relationship between hegemonic struggles in South and North Korea and the inter-Korean reconciliation from 1998 to 2002 and it argues that the reconciliation was pursued as hegemonic projects by the ruling political groups of the two Koreas. In South Korea, the 1997 economic crisis was an organic crisis that Chaebol-friendly exportist Fordism in the early stages of neoliberalisation yielded. The crisis caused counter-hegemonic liberal nationalists to attain political power. The new North Korean policy was a ‘national-popular’ programme that pursued nationalism, a counterforce to anti-Communism with which the hegemonic group exercised ideological leadership. Seoul’s rhetoric was to enhance peace on the peninsula but, in reality, the reconciliation process was undertaken at the price of tolerating the North’s armed provocations and nuclear and missile development. The ruling political group clung to repairing inter-Korean relations because it was a project to obtain hegemony from the hands of the hegemonic group. In the case of North Korea, the new South Korean policy had a ‘national-popular’ outlook of nationalism but, in practice, it aimed to obtain economic benefits to preserve hegemony. The economic crisis in the 1990s was an organic crisis resulted from Pyongyang's autarkist Soviet Fordism that excessively subordinated the economy to politics and thus worsened the shortcomings of the socialist system. The crisis brought about unparalleled damage to the existing system and, most of all, severely debilitated the state’s tight grip on society. In particular, it undermined the Party's activities that indoctrinated North Koreans with the Juche Ideology that legitimized the dictatorship and made hegemonic rule possible. Weathering the crisis without a full-scale reform of the system was vital to maintaining hegemony, and thus Pyongyang urgently needed economic help from Seoul.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DS Asia