Managing the transnational, governing the national: cultural policy and the politics of the “culture archetype project” in South Korea
This chapter examines South Korea’s (hereafter, Korean) cultural policy since the 1997 financial crisis in the context of the changing transnational economy of culture. Specifically, the focus is on the shifting attitude of the state towards cultural production and dissemination in order to reconstruct Korea’s national character and present a new image of the country both at home and in the world. For this purpose, the chapter looks at how the discursive and institutional practices of the state’s cultural policy contribute to the reconstruction of the national economy of culture. The post-developmental Korean state led the transformation of society toward the neoliberal rationalities of global standards and competitiveness. In this context, cultural policy illustrates how circulating discourses of globalization and the knowledge-based economy serve the transformative visions of the state and become a script for the post-developmental and post-crisis reorganization. Cultural policy, thus, provides the tool for re-imagining the national economy in the context of technological and transnational changes.