제목46권 1호 Digitalization and Its Impacts on Political Science Education and Research: The Case of South Korea
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Digitalization and Its Impacts on Political Science Education and Research: The Case of South Korea

Shin-Goo Kang . Chan Wook Park

 

Abstract

The digital revolution has made an immense impact on our society. And witnessing recent events in all parts of the world, it does not require a logical leap to conclude that the revolution also brought about profound changes in the modus operandi of the modern representative democracy. However, surprisingly little attention has been paid thus far to how the discipline of political science as a scientific community has collectively absorbed, digested, and reflected on the issues of the digital revolution and its implications. The aim of this paper is to examine and provide an account of how South Korean political science and political scientists have dealt with the changes and challenges posed by the digital revolution, with special attention to the aspects of teaching, learning and research. Based on our survey of political science programs at major universities, the website of the Korea Open Course Ware, research publication records, etc., we argue that the political science community in South Korea and their work, belying responsible for analyzing the challenges and implications and to provide useful guidance, have been regrettably slow to keep up with the speed at which the society and technology advanced, a stark contrast to the fact that the ICT and the digital revolution have already been fully recognized and utilized by the mass public and the political elites in the country. Indeed, the discipline remains far behind, in both education and research. A vicious cycle has already been formed between the problems of insufficient researchers and research assistants and the dearth of relevant classes offered as part of the discipline’s regular curriculum. Further, excessive emphasis on statistics and empirical methodology on top of insufficient theoretical background have rendered nascent research effort unproductive. Breaking the chain of this vicious cycle, we believe, calls for a solid policy initiative and implementation. In order to do so, however, we must first come to recognize the many hindrances confronting the discipline’s progress.

1.Shin-Goo Kang Chan Wook Park

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