By Jung In Kang

This ebook is an outgrowth of severe exam of Western political idea embedded in Western-centrism and the tumultuous ideational procedures through which modern Korean political concept and truth have intensely interacted (both in convergent and divergent methods) with it. To behavior such exam the publication addresses complicated and variegated questions concerning Western-centrism: what's Western-centrism? How is Western-centrism to be in comparison and contrasted with different kinds of centrism akin to Sinocentrism, capitalism (bourgeois-centrism), patriarchy (male-centrism), and racism (white-centrism)? How has Western-centrism developed in international historical past and within the historical past of Western political idea? How has Western-centrism formed the evolution of up to date Korean political suggestion? What forms of ailing results has Western-centrism caused in Korean society and academia? And, finally, how can Western-centrism be overcome?

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Extra info for Western-Centrism and Contemporary Korean Political Thought

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Part I Defining Western-Centrism ONE Understanding Western-Centrism The purpose of this chapter is to establish a foundation in order to better understand Western-centrism, which is also commonly referred to as Eurocentrism. First, current concepts similar to Western-centrism in the English-speaking world will be briefly examined. This will be followed by a discussion of whether Eurocentrism or Western-centrism is the more appropriate term to characterize the subject of our examination. My final position is that both words are valid and interchangeable in most cases, yet I prefer to use the word Western-centrism for reasons that will be elaborated upon later.

However, the political, economic, military, and cultural power of the United States has been truly enormous during the Cold War and post–Cold War periods. 4 Thus, when speaking of Westerncentrism, the question of whether Europe or the United State is more influential varies based on the academic and practical concerns of those who address the issue of Western-centrism. In Korea, scholars who specialize in Western history seem to pay more attention to historical con- 22 Chapter 1 cerns, and thus are more concerned with Europe.

However, although the term “centrism” is frequently used as a suffix, its meaning has not yet been agreed upon. 15 One generally accepted facet of the term is the negative connotation that the center can exert negative influences—such as oppression and exploitation—over the periphery, as expressed in the often-used center-periphery dichotomy. 16 Thus, a basic investigation regarding centrism is necessary for further elaboration in the future. To do so, the existence of a single center 17 and plural periphery will be considered.

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