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Economic Development and Democratization of South Korea


Admission requirements

This course is only available for BA2 students in the Korean Studies program.


This course is designed to introduce BA2 students with scholarly debates and knowledge in South Korea’s economic development and democratization. Economy and politics are two of the main pillars upholding a modern state. Either one of the two cannot exist alone, and the interaction between economy and politics exerts a variety of effects on state- and nation-building processes. The history of South Korea reveals that the parallel courses of economic development and democratization have been deeply intertwined, but the direction and the speed of changes in economy and politics have not necessarily coincided. Through reading of required literature followed by active discussion in class, this course will provide students with sufficient knowledge and insights about the foundation of contemporary South Korea through the lenses of economic and democratic transformation.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students are expected to:

  • Acquire basic historical knowledge of main topics discussed in this course;

  • Identify the drivers, process, and consequences of South Korea’s economic development and democratization;

  • Develop keen insights about the characteristics of South Korea’s economy and politics;

  • Critically review and analyze textual and visual materials;

  • Design and write an academic paper on relevant issues;

  • Actively participate in group discussion and presentation.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture & seminar.

Assessment method


This course consists of four parts that are assessed as below. The final grade is an aggregate sum of the four parts.


  1. Assignments (20%)
  2. Group presentation (20%)
    • Individual grading (incl. presentation skills of each student)
  3. Paper proposal (10%)
  4. Final paper (50%)


To pass the course, students must receive an overall mark of 5.50 (=6) or higher and a passing grade for the final paper assignment (5.5 or higher). Students who failed the course (receiving an overall mark of 5.49 [=5] or lower) or who failed the final paper assignment (5.49 or lower) must take a resit. The resit consists of a revised and expanded version of the final paper.

Inspection and feedback

Students may make an individual appointment with the instructor within 30 days after the publication of their final grades in order to review the grades.

Reading list

A reading list will be included in the syllabus to be uploaded on BrightSpace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. S.Y. (Se Young) Jang


Attendance policy: a strict attendance policy is imposed. Missing more than three sessions during the semester gets you barred from further attending the course and your papers may not be graded. Any absences must be notified in advance. Dispensation from the attendance rule for extenuating circumstances can only be given following consultation with the coordinator of studies.