SOAS University of London

Centre of Korean Studies

Developmental Urbanisation and the Genealogy of Urban Rights in South Korea

Dr. Hyun Bang Shin

Date: 26 February 2016Time: 5:15 PM

Finishes: 26 February 2016Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: B102

Type of Event: Seminar


In this paper, I examine the case of urban protesters against forced eviction in Seoul from the 1960s, and discuss the evolving nature of rights claims that were put forward by protesters against urban redevelopment projects in times of condensed and highly speculative urbanisation in South Korea. I make use of the collection of protesters’ pamphlets compiled by an influential civic research organisation in Seoul, and of on- and off-line archives, photographic images of protests against eviction, and my own interviews with former and current housing activists and evictees in Seoul. By adopting a strategic-relational perspective that pays a particular attention to the struggles among socio-political actors, I aim to understand particular notions of urban rights adopted by protesters against eviction due to urban redevelopment projects, and scrutinise how their rights claims have evolved over time. Such an understanding is expected to shed light on enhancing our understanding on the question of displacement, urban rights, and urban social movements to bring about alternatives to speculative urbanisation in South Korea as well as other economies that share similar trajectories of urbanisation and accumulation.

Speaker Biography

Hyun Bang Shin is Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Studies in the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science. His research centres on the critical analysis of the political economic dynamics of speculative urbanisation, the politics of redevelopment and displacement, housing, state entrepreneurialism, the right to the city, and mega-events as urban spectacles, with particular attention to Asian cities. His recent books include a co-edited volume Global Gentrifications: Uneven Development and Displacement (Policy Press, 2015) and a co-authored monograph Planetary Gentrification (Polity Press, 2016). The publication of these books emanated from a series of workshops Towards an Emerging Geography of Gentrification in the Global South in 2012, funded by the Urban Studies Foundation. His other on-going book projects include a monograph Making China Urban (Routledge, 2017), and a co-edited volume Contesting Urban Space in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Hyun serves the journal CITY as a senior editor, is a board member (trustee) of the Urban Studies Foundation, and sits on the board of several journals including AntipodeCity, Culture and Society and China City Planning Review. He is also an organising member of the London-based interdisciplinary seminar series the Urban Salon.


This seminar is free to attend and open to the public. No registration is required.


Organiser: Centre of Korean Studies

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