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Making Citizen-Soldier in Korea: A Failed Project or The Unfinished Project?

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2020, 35(1), pp.233-267
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2020.35.1.008
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation
  • Received : June 30, 2020
  • Accepted : August 10, 2020
  • Published : August 31, 2020

Gong, Jin Sung 1

1조선대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article examines how the republican ideal of turning citizens who are members of a political community into soldiers who are willing to take up arms in their own hands to defend their own political community, was emerged in the crisis of loosing sovereignty at the end of Korean Empire, maintained by citizens in the ‘imagined state’ under the Japanese imperial rule, distorted by forced conscription during two wars and military dictatorships, and declined soon under the influence of the neo-liberalist reformation of the society after being reappeared with the passionate movement for democratization, but also is evolving with the emergence of participative citizens observed during the candlelight vigils of 21st century. The ideal of citizen-soldiers will continue to have a very important political meaning as a regulative idea needed to criticize and correct reality, as long as we still believe that a political community should belong to all citizens, and that such a democratic republic should be defended.

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