Symbolic Authority and Ideological Engineering
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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