Ewha Institute for Politics, hold conferences and lectures for celebrating its establishment
Debates and lectures under the theme of “the “agora politics” and Korean Democracy, Paradoxical Phenomenon of Korean Democracy.”
The Ewha Institute for Politics (Director: Professor Eunbong Choi) held a ceremony for celebrating its establishment on September 25 (Friday), where a special lecture and conferences took place. The whole ceremony was conducted as a video conference due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Institute is a research center of Ewha Social Science Research Institute and the first affiliated institute of the Department of Political Science & International Relations, which is established to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Department of Political Science & International Relations. The institute aims to preemptively propose essential topics while actively presenting the primary global political agenda, including the Northeast Asian issues. It will draw public attention and consents by proposing several suitable policies for Korea's political landscape and reality. In addition, considering its root from the women’s university, the Institute will create a new paradigm where the women’s political power is strong.
Attending the ceremony were President Heisook Kim, professors of the Department of Political Science & International Relations, including Eunbong Choi(the first director of the Institute), Min Hee Go, Kyung Hee Kim, Inhan Kim, Byoung Won Min, Ji-Whan Yun, and Jongkon Lee, and many other experts.
Director Eunbong Choi said in her commemorative address that the Institute will try its best to face reality and address challenges of Korean society, politics, and women. It will also do its utmost to conduct researches that are suitable for the realities. She also said, “We will continue cooperation with other domestic and foreign universities and research institutes for productive activities."
President Heisook Kim congratulated the establishment of the Institute, the first research affiliated institute of the Department of Political Science & International Relations, and said, "Women have always been the subjects of politics and not the main players. I hope the Institute will play a crucial role in creating a new momentum where women actively participate in political activities."
Following the ceremony, special lectures and debates were held under the theme of “the “agora politics” and Korean Democracy, Paradoxical Phenomenon of Korean Democracy.” Korea's democracy and paradoxical phenomena surrounding agora politics were major issues in the debates, drawing officials' attention.
Professor Seongyi Yun, director of The Korean Political Science Association (KPSA) and Professor of Department of Political Science at Kyung Hee University, gave a special lecture on the day, emphasizing that both the “agora” politics and the “institutional” politics should reach balance and interact to one another. In the “agora politics”, citizens freely participate, while the "institutional politics" refers to the representative democracy under the leadership of the central government, the National Assembly, and political parties.
The following debates focused on Korean democracy's reality and the agora politics that emerged from the collapse of institutional politics. Many officials who participated in the debate agreed that the reasons behind the confrontation between the agora politics and the institutional politics are improved external assessment of democracy, increasing discredit of politics and voter turnout, declining civic organizations while civil society grows.
"The agora politics and the institutional politics have been disconnected and confronted with each other since the independence of Korea," Professor Yoon said. "What we now need is not replacing or excluding either options. We need to converge and incorporate two politics to come up with a participatory democracy, or “strong democracy.”
The Ewha Institute for Politics is able to be launched thanks to active support from the university and the passionate efforts of professors and students of the Department of Political Science & International Relations. The Institute will actively unfold several activities, including conferences planned in the second half of this year celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Department of Political Science & International Relations.