“Winning the War with Goats and Pigs: United Nations Resource Development Programs in the Republic of Korea, 1950-1953”
Lisa Brady, Professor, Boise State University; Editor-in-Chief, Environmental History
Moderated by Charles Armstrong, Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences in the Department of History
Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
918 International Affairs Building
No registration required.
Co-sponsored by The Korea Foundation and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Often characterized as a point of rupture, the 1950-53 Korean War represented less a moment of disjuncture than it did a period of accelerated continuity, at least from a development perspective. Immediately prior to that conflict the United Nations (UN) worked with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to modernize that nation’s political and economic systems, basing their efforts on assumptions that resource development through rational application of science and technology led to progress. The outbreak of war necessitated, rather than contraindicated that the ROK and its UN partners continue their resource improvement plans. Such programs were not new; analogous attempts to modernize Korea were undertaken late in the Chosŏn era and during Japanese colonization. This article examines three specific UN programs in the ROK between 1950 and 1953, illustrating that modernization and military success were mutually reinforcing and premised on similar assumptions about rationalization that underlay earlier modernization schemes.