On October 25th, the Institute for Korean Studies held its fourth annual conference, entitled “After the Miracle: The Present and Future of Korea's Economy and Society.” The conference was co-organized with the Korea Economic Institute of America, and was made possible with funding from the Dr. Lee Se Ung Distinguished Lecture Series on Korean Global Affairs.
As reflected in the phrase “Miracle on the Han River,” South Korea experienced unprecedented growth for over three decades from the 1960s. While the rapid economic development propelled the country into the ranks of advanced nations, it also brought sweeping changes to Korean society. Furthermore, many social phenomena and issues have emerged or intensified as a result of a lag in social adjustment after the period of intensive growth and with the introduction of neoliberalism, hyper-globalization, world economic crises, etc. This conference discussed the relationship between economic changes and social conflicts, examined current trends, and looked at the prospects for the future.
IKS fourth annual international conference brought together leading scholars from Korea and North America to discuss current issues facing the Korean economy and society. The conference commenced with a keynote speech by Daeil Kim of Seoul National University on the topic, “Economic Growth and Demand for Equity: The Case of Korea.” This was followed by academic presentations by Jinill Kim of Korea University on “Macroeconomic Performance: What Lies Ahead?;” Yoonkyung Lee of the University of Toronto on “Labor in Post Post-industrial Korea;" Yongseok Shin of Washington University on “Korean Business Groups;” Myungji Yang of the University of Hawaii on “From Miracle to Mirage: The Making and Unmaking of the Korean Middle Class, 1960-2010;” and Sharon Yoon of Ewha Womans University on “The Organizational Culture of the Chaebol and Workplace Inequality: Stunted Mobilities of Korean Chinese Employees in a Beijing Subsidiary.”
After the academic presentations there was a musical performance featuring jazz adaptations of Korean songs presented by an ensemble consisting of Peter Pendowski on electric guitar, Gregory Wang on electric piano and John Valdez on drums.
Finally, Lee Feinstein, dean of IU's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland, moderated a policy discussion. The panelists were Darcie Draudt of Johns Hopkins University, Taejoon Lah of Yonsei University, Wonjae Lee of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Troy Stangarone, Korea Economic Institute in America.