In his Nagoya lecture on November 6, 2010, Ulrich Beck criticized the longstanding Eurocentric assumptions of Western social theories, arguing emphatically for a cosmopolitan turn. His message was clear-cut, yet the overall feedback was rather cool or ambivalent at best, probably because his speech was premised upon the necessity for a cosmopolitan social science (Beck 2010: 4). As in China, the current political trends and public opinions in Japan have been largely shaped by nationalistic drives far away from cosmopolitanism. Yet, due attention should be paid to appreciate his argument. Beck has refused to prioritize Western development as applicable to other developing countries. On the contrary, he has argued that the Western pattern has to be “rediscovered and understood as a specific mixture of tradition, first modernity, second modernity and after-modernity” (Beck and Grande 2009: 15), sensitizing us to the multiple pathways, thresholds, and modalities of historical change. In a recent paper, taking “the varieties of modernity and their global interdependencies as a starting point for theoretical reflection and empirical research” (Beck and Grande 2010: 412), Beck has defined East Asia in terms of “an active, compressed modernization driven by a developmental state” and contrasted it with the Western model “as the project of an unintended, temporally stretched and (more or less) successful modernization of modern societies” (Beck and Grande 2010: 416). Beck went further in his Nagoya lecture by recognizing that East Asians can “correct and redefine the self-understanding of European modernity” and second modernity by looking at “Europe from a nonEuropean perspective, that is, with Asian eyes” (Beck 2010: 16). Cosmopolitan nuances of self-reflection cannot be better formulated. This chapter draws attention to the specifically dynamic consequences of East Asian compressed modernity with the aim of pursuing the kind of cosmopolitan dialogue alluded to by Beck. For this purpose, I shall first define what I call an “active” dialogue1

and examine the characteristics of compressed modernity and the developmental state in East Asia. High-consequential risks, citizen movement, and reflexive risk governance, as salient issues emerging from this historical background, will be examined in order to demonstrate the significance of the 2008 candlelit vigil in South Korea.