Book Project

My book project examines how a range of state policies enacted by earlier authoritarian regimes had legacy effects for women’s empowerment in South Korea. The book will show how the authoritarian regimes of Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan used reproductive policies and programs ostensibly designed to promote economic development in ways that subsequently affected the trajectory of women’s empowerment. Based on archival research, I am assembling a dataset on the mobilization of women by the Park and Chun governments in mid- to late-twentieth century. I have also begun identifying and conducting interviews with members of women’s groups who were mobilized during this period. Drawing on archival sources and interviews, I investigate how government policies and rhetoric around reproduction have stayed the same, and how they have changed, as South Korea transitioned from an autocracy to a democracy in the last few decades.