Democracy and Economic Development Program


Thematic Research

Director: Euiyoung Kim (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations)
Co-Researchers: Heonik Kwon (Univ. of Cambridge), Hiroki Miura (Institute of Political Studies),
Tohkyeong Ahn (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations), Shinkap Han (Dept. of Sociology)

− Focus on fundamental change in the international order (i.e. post-cold war, globalization, etc.)
− Research on sustainable democracy and economic development
− Comparative research on social economy/cooperative association as new political, economic, and social developmental models
− East Asian manifestation and dissemination of Governance models: multilayered study of province, state, and region
− Theorizing the development model of Korean political economy

Social Economy and Civil Democracy

Research Topics
As it entered its third year in 2015, the Democracy and Economic Development Program (DEDP) conducted research mainly on social economy and civil democracy. Compared to DEDP’s research focus during the previous year, the organizational and institutional aspects and environmental and macroscopic aspects of social economy, the goal for 2015 was examining the process and dynamic characteristics of social economy such as governance, social innovation, and the operation of related systems and organizations. Moreover, through case studies on autonomous districts in Seoul, DEDP
demonstrated that there is a strong correlation between civil democracy and properties of social economy such as social entrepreneurship, public citizenship, societal integration, and local development.

While analyzing social economy, DEDP was able to observe and investigate dynamic aspects of social economy hubs. During this process, DEDP directed attention to the level of social economic qualities of each organization, rather than adopting a uniform conceptualization and static classification method by simply diagnosing whether or not a certain organization is a social economy organization. In addition, through case studies on autono­mous districts in Seoul, DEDP objectively examined the way in which civil democracy materializes in Korea and its achievements. While undertaking such study, DEDP collected and organized up-to-date information about the present conditions and operating patterns of local governance.

Major Research Outcomes
Since 2013, DEDP has carried out investigations on the present condi­tions, institutional attributes, and developmental processes of social economic organizations in Korea, China, and Japan. DEDP researchers published Mapping Social Economy in Northeast as well as three research papers.

Throughout the past year, DEDP participated in various academic events such as special lectures delivered by international scholars and colloquiums jointly organized with the SNU Asian Consortium for Political Research (ACPR), and also made presentations at major symposiums. Beginning with Prof. Barbara Allen’s lecture in March 2015, a total of 9 periodic colloquiums on the topic of “Civil Politics and Civil Democracy” were held since May 2015. Prof. Euiyoung Kim, Director of DEDP, and researcher Hiroki Miura presented the “Interdisciplinary Study on the Hybridity of Co-operatives” at the World Congress for Korean Politics and Society 2015. At the same event, research assistants presented “Civil Politics within Town: Autonomous Districts in Seoul.” In September 2015, Prof. Euiyoung Kim and researcher Jun-han Yon intro­duced the case of Korea’s public-private governance. In October, DEDP researchers established an interdisciplinary research foundation regard­ing social economy, after giving a presentation at the 40th Anniversary Conference of SNU College of Social Sciences.

Finally, DEDP’s achievements include publications about civil politics. Along with research assistants and students who took “Civil Soci­ety and New Politics,” a 2015 fall semester class, Prof. Euiyoung Kim conducted a participant observation case study on the life politics in Seoul’s autonomous districts. Prof. Kim then analyzed his findings us­ing a civil democracy framework, and published the results into Citizen Politics inside the Local Community. During this process, DEDP collabo­rated with JoongAng Ilbo, a prominent daily newspaper, to publish the 50th anniversary special article series “The Era of Citizens”.

Future Challenges and Outlook
The hybridity and diversity of social economy, combined with partici­pation from members of the society, have the potential to stimulate a new form of economic theory and democracy. Therefore, it is necessary to analyze social economy by focusing on various topics and issues including socio-economic systems/policies/strategies, social economy and collective action, social economy and citizen autonomy, social economy and governance, social economy and democracy, social econ­omy and civil politics, and social economy and the role of political/social entrepreneurship. Further, DEDP plans to conduct more analytical research on the synergistic effect of social economy and civil politics which places importance on the virtues of participation.