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Wed 25

May 25, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EDT

A Curious Dream of Realizing Democratic and Constitutional Ideals through Military Dictatorship

SNF Agora Institute

Hang Kim will examine constitutional populism in Korea focusing on Han Taeyeon’s constitutional theory. Han is one of the most eminent constitutional theorists in Korea whose works have dealt with political issues within the boundaries of public law. He also took part in the Park Junghee regime as an ideologue to legally legitimize the regime. His main theme concerned how the people could be established as the protector of sovereignty in underdeveloped Korea, which was a critical and urgent agenda for constitutional theory. He criticized the political situation and legal system in the 1950s in this respect, and advocated, by the concepts and languages of public law, the May 16 coup d’état in 1961 as a decisive step to redeem people’s sovereignty and the legal system. Since then to the Yushin regime in 1971, Park’s populist regime was legitimated under the ideal of people’s sovereignty by Han.

Hang Kim is a professor of cultural anthropology at Yonsei University. He is the author of numerous books on political philosophy, Korean and Japanese intellectual histories, constitutional thoughts, and political cultures, including The Mouth That Eats, the Mouth That Speaks: The End of the “End of History” and Searches for a New Thought (Saemulgyŏl Publishers, 2009) and The Thought of the Japanese Empire: Toward Post-Imperialism and New Horizons of Discourse on East Asia (Ch’angbi, 2015).

This free online event is hosted by the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature at Johns Hopkins and co-sponsored by the SNF Agora Institute.