Discourse on “Global Citizenship” in South Korea

Hans Schattle speaks on global citizenshipThe East-West Cen­ter Research Pro­gram will present a dis­cus­sion of the con­cept of “glob­al cit­i­zen­ship” in the Repub­lic of Korea in its lunchtime brown bag series Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 11, 2016. The speak­er will be Hans Schat­tle, cur­rent­ly a POSCO vis­it­ing fel­low at the Cen­ter. His talk is titled “From State-dri­ven Com­pet­i­tive­ness to Soci­ety-dri­ven Char­ac­ter Build­ing: The Pro­gres­sion of ‘Glob­al Cit­i­zen­ship’ Dis­course in the Repub­lic of Korea.”

Schat­tle is a pro­fes­sor of polit­i­cal sci­ence and inter­na­tion­al rela­tions at Yon­sei Uni­ver­si­ty in Seoul. He is the author of The Prac­tices of Glob­al Cit­i­zen­ship (2008) and Glob­al­iza­tion and Cit­i­zen­ship (2012), as well as arti­cles in numer­ous social sci­ence jour­nals. He earned his D.Phil. at Oxford Uni­ver­si­ty and worked as a jour­nal­ist before launch­ing his aca­d­e­m­ic career. 

The idea of segye simin (glob­al cit­i­zen­ship) came to the fore in the 1990s main­ly through efforts by gov­ern­ment lead­ers to strength­en nation­al com­pet­i­tive­ness, accord­ing to Schat­tle. Since then, the term has gained trac­tion in civ­il soci­ety and edu­ca­tion­al cir­cles, lead­ing to a shift in empha­sis toward char­ac­ter build­ing. As civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions have grown from with­in and linked up with edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions across the coun­try as well as net­work part­ners abroad, he says, they have adopt­ed more nor­ma­tive under­stand­ings of glob­al cit­i­zen­ship in their strate­gies and pro­grams. This has ren­dered glob­al cit­i­zen­ship dis­course in South Korea clos­er to moral cos­mopoli­tanism and its empha­sis on human dig­ni­ty and the pur­suit of uni­ver­sal val­ues, while also afford­ing respect across lines of cul­tur­al dif­fer­ence and division. 

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Schat­tle will explore what the ongo­ing shift in the direc­tion of char­ac­ter build­ing means in light of the ever-present efforts in the Repub­lic of Korea to iden­ti­fy its essence as a nation. One impor­tant aspect of con­sis­ten­cy in the pro­gres­sion from com­pet­i­tive­ness to char­ac­ter in South Kore­an glob­al cit­i­zen­ship dis­course is an endur­ing con­cern for how glob­al cit­i­zen­ship fits into the larg­er quest for nation build­ing with­in the south­ern half of the Kore­an peninsula. 

Schat­tle will speak at 12 noon in Burns Hall Room 3012 at the East-West Cen­ter. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact Cyn­thia Nakachi (NakachiC@eastwestcenter.org) at the East-West Cen­ter, locat­ed at 1601 East-West Road.

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