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SHIN Jin-Wook

Professor of Sociology, Chung-Ang University / Presidential Commission on Policy Planning, Korea

SHIN Jin-Wook
Title SDF2021 Research Team Findings Navigating the Perfect Storm: Seeking Answers to the Questions of Ecological, Regional, and Generational Coexistence for Youth Under Pressure, Regions in Decline, and Our Climate-Threatened World.
Times of the Remarks 2021.11.18 09:30-10:20

SHIN Jin-wook studied sociology in Korea before going on to earn a doctoral degree at the Free University of Berlin in Germany for research on the relationship between state violence and social movements. As a professor of sociology at Chung-Ang University since 2005, he teaches political sociology, civil society and social movements, and European political sociology, among others. He has also taught at various institutions abroad, including the Free University of Berlin in Germany, the University of Graz in Austria, and Ritsumeikan University in Japan. As a researcher, his main interests lie in questions concerning the existence and continued presence of unjust inequality and the connections between inequalities in power structure and inequalities in broader society.

His research has focused more narrowly on the interrelated themes of democracy, social movements, civil society and political participation, and welfare states, as well as the intersections between the same. Recently, he has begun exploring the relationship of generation and social class, social movements of young people, political engagement by civil society at the global level, and changes in the ecology of Korean civil society. Since 2020, he has published numerous English-language papers explaining Korean civil society and the history and current status of Korean social movements for international publications, including the Amsterdam University Press North East Asian Studies series, the Oxford Handbook of South Korean Politics, and the Korea-Europe Review published in partnership with the Free University of Berlin, in promotion of wider international interest in and exposure for Korean studies.

A common trend affecting the world’s democracies in the 21st century is the growing political interest and increasingly active political participation by smart, informed citizens equipped with the tools of modern information societies. One result of this trend, a closer relationship between the political and civil spheres, has seemingly contradictory implications. On the one hand, concerted efforts by a responsible political leadership and mature civil society could improve the quality of our democracy; on the other hand, the mix of populist politics and an extremist-leaning citizenry could spell backwards progress for democracy. Given these prospects, as we seek solutions to pressing issues like inequality and climate change, we must consider the kind of politics and the kind of citizen such solutions and their implementation will require.