[KS] The 77th Yonsei-KF Korean Studies Forum (Professor Hyuk-Rae Kim, GSIS, Yonsei University)

김혁래 hyukrae at yonsei.ac.kr
Tue Nov 27 01:48:42 EST 2007

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The Korean Studies Program and the Institute for Modern Korean Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University are pleased to invite you to attend the 77th Yonsei-KF Korean Studies Forum, which will be held on Tuesday, December 4th at 6:00 PM in Room 702 of New Millennium Hall at Yonsei University. The speaker is W. Chad Futrell, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University. The discussant is Professor Dae-Yeob Cho, Department of Sociology, Korea University. The title of his talk is “Shallow Roots: Transnational Environmental Civil Society in Northeast Asia.” The abstract of his paper and a brief bio can be found at the end of this email.  
 The presentation will be followed by a dinner reception. I hope you will come to enjoy the presentation, discussion, and reception. Please contact Jennifer Bresnahan at 010-5441-9204, jennifer.bresnahan at gmail.com for further inquiries.  
Hyuk-Rae Kim
Professor of Korean StudiesDirector, Institute for Modern Korean Studies
GSIS, Yonsei University 

            Abstract:  Since normalizing relations in 1992, trade, investment, and tourism between South Korea and China have grown rapidly, as has cooperation between the two governments.  Culturally, Korean society is now in the midst of a “China boom” while China is experiencing the “Korean Wave,” as shown by the large number of educational and cultural exchange programs.  South Korea and China, however, are also increasingly sharing environmental problems in the form of air pollution, contaminated food, the loss of biodiversity, and most noticeably, desertification and sandstorms, or “Yellow Sand.”  Governments in the region have initiated a number of programs to address these regional environmental problems.  Likewise, Chinese and Korean NGOs are increasingly working together to address desertification and biodiversity conservation.  This research examines these networks of NGOs and their efforts to discern whether a transnational environmental civil society is emerging in the region.  Many of the NGOs involved feel that society-led cooperation is necessary to tackle the worsening environmental situation in Northeast Asia.  Environmental NGOs are important indicators of civil society in each country. Korean environmental NGOs comprise one of the pillars of citizens’ movements in South Korea, and international and Chinese environmental NGOs have been given more autonomy by the Chinese government than any other segment of society.  Nonetheless, the vast disparities in economic development, political systems, and awareness of environmental problems, along with nationalism and language barriers have limited the formation of collective identity, even among environmental activists.  This research suggests that although environmental cooperation is increasing, a transnational environmental civil society is still a long-term dream rather than an imminent possibility in the region.   


W. Chad Futrell is a PhD Candidate in the department of Development Sociology at Cornell University.  As well as receiving an MS from the same program, he holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Certificate of Advanced Chinese from Tsinghua University.  Chad has volunteered with environmental NGOs in East Asia since 1997, and is currently completing two years of fieldwork in South Korea and China funded by Korea Foundation and Fulbright-Hays dissertation fieldwork fellowships. 


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