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Politics, Knowledge, and Inter-Korean Affairs : Korean Public Think Tanks Not as Policy Advocates but as Knowledge Producers

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Authors
Kim, Sung Chull
Issue Date
2014-03
Publisher
Institute of International Relations
Citation
Issues & Studies, Vol. 50 no. 1, pp. 123-151
Keywords
Korean public think tankspolicy advocateknowledge producerKorea Institute for National Unification (KINU)inter-Korean relations
Abstract
There were four critical undercurrents for the growth of Korean think tanks in the 1990s: democratization, the end of the Cold War, globalization coupled with local autonomy, and the expanded government budget accompanying Koreas rapid economic growth. In contrast to American think tanks which are private but normally serve as public policy advocates, most of the important Korean think tanks are supported by the government and they are not independent public policy advocates. The Korean public think tanks are highly susceptible to domestic political dynamics: for instance, the presidential offices power over the appointment of the directors. The susceptibility originates not only from the delayed democratic institutionalization of the Korean presidential system but also from the absence of financial independence, limits to the accessibility of information on policy, and the lack of professionalism in the bureaucracy. The Korea Institute for National Unification, an exemplary public think tank regarding the issue of inter-Korean relations, now focuses on research and analysis rather than policy advocacy. Alternatively, it acts as a producer of knowledge and vocabulary to envision an epistemic community for deliberating strategies of engaging with North Korea.
ISSN
1013-2511
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/91965
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