De-Bordering Korea : Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy book cover
1st Edition

De-Bordering Korea
Tangible and Intangible Legacies of the Sunshine Policy

ISBN 9781138851856
Published February 27, 2015 by Routledge
256 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

As tensions remain on the Korean peninsula, this book looks back on the decade of improved inter-Korean relations and engagement between 1998 and 2008, now known as the ‘Sunshine Policy’ era. Moving beyond traditional economic and political perspectives, it explores how this decade of intensified cooperation both affected and reshaped existing physical, social and mental boundaries between the two Koreas, and how this ‘de-bordering’ and ‘re-bordering’ has changed the respective attitudes towards the other.

Based around three key themes, ‘Space’, ‘People’, and ‘Representations’, this book looks at the tangible and intangible areas of contact created by North-South engagement during the years of the Sunshine Policy. ‘Space’ focuses on the border regions and discusses how the border reflects the dynamics of multiple types of exchanges and connections between the two Koreas, as well as the new territorial structures these have created. ‘People’ addresses issues in human interactions and social organizations, looking at North Korean defectors in the South, shifting patterns of North-South competition in the ‘Korean’ diaspora of post-Soviet Central Asia, and the actual and physical presence of the Other in various social settings. Finally, ‘Representations’ analyses the image of the other Korea as it is produced, circulated, altered/falsified and received (or not) on either side of the Korean border.

The contributors to this volume draw on a broad spectrum of disciplines ranging from geography, anthropology and archaeology, to media studies, history and sociology, in order to show how the division between North and South Korea functions as an essential matrix for geographical, social and psychological structures on both sides of the border. As such, this book will appeal to students and scholars from numerous fields of study, including Korean studies, Korean culture and society, and international relations more broadly.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: Places 1. Life on the Lines: People and Places on the Korean Border 2. Crossing the Border: South Korean Tourism to Mount Kŭmgang 3. Heritage Management in the Kaesŏng Special Economic Zone 4. Swinging Borders: the Sino-Korean Border During the Sunshine Policy  Part II: People 5. North Korean Defector Activism and South Korean Politics 6. The Hard Life of North Korean Migrants in South Korean Society 7. Confronting Korean Identities in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan  Part III: Representations 8. Facts or Acts? Korean News Agencies Reporting on Inter-Korean Relations 9. South Korea’s Encounter with North Korean Art: Between Barbershop Painting and True Art 10. Sleeping with the (Northern) Enemy: South Korean Cinema and the Autistic Interface 11. The End of Romanticism? Teaching the ‘Other’ Korea in the Sunshine Era Postscript: Debordering, Rebordering, Unbordering

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Valérie Gelézeau is Associate Professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris), and Director of EHESS' Center for Korean Studies.

Koen De Ceuster is Associate Professor at the Centre for Korean Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands

Alain Delissen is Korean Foundation Professor of Korean Studies (Modern History) at EHESS, Paris and current director of its China, Korea, Japan CNRS Joint-Lab. He also teaches at Geneva University, Switzerland.


"What is attractive about this volume is that it provides sorely needed information in a condensed format. Chapters are very short, and can easily be digested in an hour." - Sem Vermeersch, Associate Professor, Dept. of Religious Studies, Seoul National University