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Rationalizing Korea"The Rise of the Modern State, 1894-1945"$
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Kyung Moon Hwang

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288317

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288317.001.0001

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Constructing Legitimacy

Constructing Legitimacy

Symbolic Authority and Ideological Engineering

(p.86) Three Constructing Legitimacy
Rationalizing Korea

Kyung Moon Hwang

University of California Press

This chapter analyzes how the state’s ideological, symbolic authority was shaped by discursive and administrative practices such as state-sponsored campaigns and spectacles. In short, this chapter reveals the construction and maintenance of state legitimacy, which can be considered the most intriguing but also the most overlooked rationalization of the modern state. Beginning with consideration of the Joseon dynastic state’s basic role as caretaker of Confucian social morality, this chapter finds the early modern state retaining a core civilizing mission while also turning to a wide range of justifications for its authority, the most extensive of which was what this book calls managerial legitimacy, or one premised on administrative capability. Other legitimations included populism, nationalism, external recognition, material improvement, and two distinctive appeals to nationalism under colonialism: the first being multiculturalist in orientation and the second, emphatically assimilationist.

Keywords:   state legitimation, symbolic authority, discursive legitimacy, ideological engineering, moral suasion, social education, spiritual campaigns, state ceremonies, state spectacles, regimes of legitimation

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