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Framing the Korean 'comfort women' movement: domestic constraints and transnational alignments
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
posted on 22.03.2017by Roman, Mohita
My thesis is an attempt to understand the local-transnational dynamic of the
Korean Comfort Women movement. Rather than understanding it simply as a
single transnational movement as is commonly referred to in current
scholarship on the movement, I intend to contribute to the literature on the
issue by suggesting that there are two parallel movements on the issue in
Korea - the national and the transnational - which are discordant in nature.
For the Korean activists, researchers and feminist leaders advocating for the
Comfort Women issue, the emergence of the human rights principles as a core
value in the post Cold War period was significant. The movement has aligned
itself with the global movement for the elimination of violence against women
during armed conflict paradigm which has provided much of the theoretical
framework for the transnational campaigning for the Comfort Women issue.
This thesis draws on frame theory and Transnational Advocacy Network (TAN)
theory to study how movement actors are actively engaged in the process of
framing the Comfort Women issue to maximize mobilization of target
audiences and the socio-cultural and political contextual constraints and.
opportunities that influence this process and outcomes. At the transnational
level, the Korean Comfort Women movement has been successful in 'framing'
the movement within a human rights frame and has been successful in forming
a 'transnational advocacy network' on the issue. The TAN presents a cohesive
movement united by common values and discourse that share resources and
information. It is argued that the cohesion displayed at the transnational level
has been difficult to achieve in the domestic arena. Due to complex differential
dynamics within the local actors, the domestic Korean Comfort Women
movement is not united by a common 'frame' leading to a fragmented
movement. This thesis argues that harmony between. the local and the
transnational by means of a uniform master frame will ultimately lead to
effective mobilization and resonance at the local and international level and put
pressure for social and policy change at the government level.