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BSE controversy in Korea

Cho, H; (2014) BSE controversy in Korea. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis has examined the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) controversy in Korea in terms of civic epistemology conceptualised by Jasanoff. The Korean BSE controversy occurred as a result of uncertainty over BSE being mobilised within complex political and economic contexts between Korea and the US, particularly over the issue of the import of US beef after 2003. The complexity of the interests impeded the Korean government from adopting a clear position on BSE risk in beef, and thus led to public distrust and massive public protests in 2008. The controversy demonstrated what I have called an authoritarian character of civic epistemology in Korea, such as the dominance of the government in knowledge production, public accountability limited to procedural form, and dependence on foreign authority. It can be ascribed to the traces of the development process which had been led by a powerful state and which relied on importing advanced countries’ knowledge and skills. However, simultaneously, the controversy showed that this civic epistemology is in transition, challenged by a growing civil society and an increasing demand for public participation. In light of this, rather than a one-off phenomenon, the BSE controversy in Korea could be defined as a symptom of tension caused by friction between the ingrained approach to policy-making and increasing public awareness of democracy. This pattern of civic epistemology, I suggest, is a distinctive outcome of Korea’s status as a latecomer country which has achieved compressed economic growth and recent political democratisation.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: BSE controversy in Korea
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Science and Technology Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1430172
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