How Did Internalization Evolve? A Case Study on 2008 South Korea Anti-beef Movement

By Yangyue Liu.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Since 1980s processes and mechanisms underlying social movements have become one of the focal points of academic research, in which a series of models has been constructed sequentially from political process, to framing process, and to synthesized dynamic model of contentious politics. Such efforts naturally spilled over into studies on transnational social movements as international and domestic affairs interrelated more frequently, and activism tended to be more across national borders. However, while many studies have focused on the “transnational” nature of newly emerged social movements, one particular process, the internalization, received relatively inadequate attention, and existing interpretations of internalization process were more descriptive than analytic. The anti-U.S.-beef movement occurred in South Korea in 2008 offered an explicit case in which the inter-state issue (ban on the beef import) was internalized into Korean domestic ground. This paper attempts to explore the process and mechanism embedded in the anti-beef crisis, which served as an epitome of the internalization model. It employs two determinants, international structure and domestic structure, to explain the mobilization and trajectory of this mass social movement. The former refers to the political and economic power relations between South Korea and the U.S., as well as the changing nature of such relation that frames the role a state plays within. The latter variable is mainly composed of class structure, political institutions, relationship between government and dissident groups, and related domestic institutions. This paper argues that international structure is the major variable that explains the formation of pressures and threats, and domestic structure is useful to understand how threats and opportunities produce contentious performance.

Keywords: Internalization, Anti-beef Movement, Transnational Social Movement

Global Studies Journal, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.273-288. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.373MB).

Yangyue Liu

PhD Candidate, Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Liu Yangyue is a PhD candidate in Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong. His research interests include comparative politics, international relations, and Internet politics.

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