cks logo
menu bar

Book Talk: Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea

Book Talk: Human Rights and Transnational Democracy in South Korea

This book is the first account of the historical intersection between democratic transitions in South Korea and the global human rights boom in the 1970s.

Monday, February 12, 2024
4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

In his book talk, Dr. Hwang will illustrate how local prodemocracy activists pragmatically engaged with global advocacy groups, especially Amnesty International and the World Council of Churches, to maximize their socioeconomic and political struggles against the backdrop of South Korea's authoritarian industrialization and US hegemony in East Asia. He details how local prodemocracy protesters translated their sufferings and causes into international human rights claims. In the process, their claims and actions revealed how US Cold War geopolitics impeded democratization in South Korea. In tracing the increasing coalitional ties between local prodemocracy protesters and transnational human rights activism, Dr. Hwang also calls attention to the parallel development of counter-mobilization human rights politics by the South Korean regime and US administrations. These counter-mobilizations were designed to safeguard the regime's legitimacy and to ensure the US Cold War security consensus. Thus, he argues that local disputes over democratization in South Korea became transnational contestations on human rights through the development of trans-Pacific human rights politics. This talk will be moderated by Prof. Kevin Y. Kim at UCLA.   

To join the talk, please click here.     


Dr. Ingu Hwang is an associate professor of the Practice in the International Studies Program and Leader of the Global Korea Project at Boston College. He offers history courses on security, development, human rights, and democracy in contemporary Korea and East Asia in global contexts. his research centers on contemporary transnational and global Korean history with a focus on the topics of democracy, peace, security, and human rights.    

Dr. Kevin Y. Kim is assistant professor of history at UCLA. He is currently working on a book entitled, Worlds Unseen: Henny Wallace, Herbert Hoover, and the Making of Cold War America. A recent fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center, Kim has published his work in Pacific Historical Review, Diplomatic History, Modern American History and a state-of-the field volume on Korean American studies. 



Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies

Image for RSVP ButtonImage for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button