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The Politics of Technoscience in Korea: From State Policy to Social Movement


Focusing on the changing relationships among the state, civil society, and science and technology (S&T) in contemporary Korean history, this article reviews the literature of science and technology studies on the politics of technoscience in South Korea. Arguing that the active role of the state in developing S&T is a defining characteristic of Korean S&T, this article first reviews the statist approaches to S&T, where the politics of technoscience involves mainly policy decisions. Then, by reviewing work on the role of nationalism in Korean technoscience, this article discusses the literature with attention to the reciprocal relationships between technoscience and political power mediated by the nationalist view of S&T. Next, this article evaluates the literature on the Biosafety and Bioethics Act, with emphasis on the interactions among diverse actors, nongovernmental organization activists in particular, in the legislative process. Finally, the literature on public participation and social movements in technoscience is discussed.