[KS] AKSE Conference and the International Dimension

Andrea Campana md3206 at mclink.it
Wed Mar 10 05:12:12 EST 1999

Dear friends Koreanists,

I am now putting on the net some thoughts of mine, at the eve of the
AKSE conference in Hamburg, hoping to receive some feedback from you.

What I am seeing from the provisional schedule of the contributions of the
Conference and from what I remember about the topics discussed at the
previous Stockholm conference, is that the AKSE seems to neglect an
aspect in the life of a country considered as any other country of our
 My impression is that all what is concerning to the relations between
 and the international environment (Foreign Policy, Security, Cooperation,
 International Law, International Economics, International Relations) is
 strongly underrepresented. (This is what the Korean scholars call "Korea
 and World Affairs").
 Furthermore, it is my opinion that in the topics of the researches
 presented, the cultural and social approaches (et similia) are too much
 privileged. Far from me to say that this kind of approach is wrong and
 doesn't give a clear idea of very important aspects of the Korean life,
 I think that sometimes the researches on the institutional structure of
 state and its functioning can be interesting (and useful). As for the
 papers relating to history, I would add that "narrative" history can
 the reality of the past with great effectiveness (sometimes in a clearer
 way than social history).
Finally, I think that in our contemporary world (where applied Communism
has failed) the objections relating to the sensitiveness of political
issues are very fragile. I know that for the Koreans this is not so, for
some clear
reasons which I understand, but I think that the international scholars'
duty is also
to defuse the political struggle in Korea, adopting a more "world-wide
point of view".
 Sincerely yours
 Andrea Campana

 University of Florence (Italy)


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