Abstract

This article forwards an interpretation of the Korean united front movement of 1927- 1931, the Shin'ganhoe, that might offer some insight into the dynamics of the movement, especially of its dissolution, and that complements the nationalist accounts of it. That the Shin'ganhoe was created under the conditions of Japan's colonial rule gave the movement its character as a part of the resistance against that rule. But I propose that the movement is not fully explained by that role and that it took on a logic or dynamic of its own that led toward its dissolution in some sense independently of its being a nationalist resistance organization. I then relate the discussion to recent developments in South Korean nationalist historiography, paying particular attention to attempts to "glocalize" Korean national imperatives by linking them with theories of a global or world system. I conclude with the observation that the linkages made between local and global phenomena, related as they are to the severe internecine competition on the Korean peninsula over the past five decades, appear to be a restatement of central demands of the nationalist position. As such they do not chart a clear route beyond the nationalist paradigm and may suffer from intractable difficulties similar to those that plagued the Shin'ganhoe movement.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1529
Print ISSN
0145-840X
Pages
pp. 179-206
Launched on MUSE
2001-12-01
Open Access
No
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