South Korea’s Sunshine Policy, Reciprocity and Nationhood

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This article is an anthropological study of South Korea’s ‘Sunshine Policy’ towards North Korea, through analyzing the much debated issue of reciprocity between the divided yet one nation. The Sunshine Policy was first instigated in 1998 by South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, to soften the belligerent attitude of North Korea towards the South by promoting interaction through the prosperous South’s economic aid to the nearly bankrupt North. The policy initially seemed to work, leading to some communications between the two Koreas, and President Kim Dae Jung was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000. However, as the North ‘jettisoned’ the principle of reciprocity, and the financial aid aimed to help the starving North Korean masses was used to develop weaponry including nuclear bombs and long-range missiles, the South Korean public began to question its validity. Since March 2008, the new South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has taken a harsher stance towards the North, and the Sunshine Policy has somewhat faded. According to some it is doomed to fail. This is an analyses of nation, state and reciprocity, and the reasons why the Sunshine Policy has encountered so many problems.

South Korea’s Sunshine Policy, Reciprocity and Nationhood

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology



  • BoazFranz The Social Organization and Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians 1897 Washington National Museum

  • ChangHa-Joon Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations & the Threat to Global Prosperity 2008 London Random House Business Books

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ch’oeChaesŏk Han’guk kajok yŏn’gu (A Study of the Korean Family) 1982/1990 Rev. 5th ed. Seoul Ilchisa

  • ClaessenHenri J. M.SkalnikPeter Origin of the State: The Anthropology of Political Evolution 1978 Philadelphia ISHI

  • ClaessenHenri J. M.SkalnikPeter The Early State 1978 The Hague Mouton

  • ClaessenHenri J. M.SkalnikPeter Early State Dynamics 1987 Leiden Brill

  • EngelsFrederick The Origin of the Family Private Property and the State 1884/1972 London Pathfinder

  • GellnerErnest Nations and Nationalism: New Perspectives on the Past 1983 Oxford Blackwell Publishers

  • HogarthHyun-key Kim Kut: Happiness through Reciprocity 1998 Budapest Aladémiai Kiadó

  • HogarthHyun-key Kim Korean Shamanism and Cultural Nationalism 1999 Seoul Jimoondang

  • HogarthHyun-key Kim Gut the Korean Shamanistic Ritual 2009 Seoul Jimoondang

  • Iryŏn PakSŏngbongKoKyŏngshik Samguk yusa (Legends and History of the Three Kingdoms). Modern Korean version 13th Century/1987 Seoul Sŏmun Munhwasa

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KirkDonald Korea Betrayed Kim Dae Jung and Sunshine 2009 New York Palgrave Macmillan

  • LeeKwang KyuYi Kwanggyu Han’guk kajok u˘ i kujo punsŏk (Analysis of the Korean Family Structure) 1975 Seoul Ilchisa

  • LeeTong WonHogarthHyun-key Kim Tasks and Times: Memoirs of Lee Tong Won Foreign Minister Who Finalized the ROK-Japan Normalization Treaty 2004 Seoul Jimoondang

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MarshallBarbara Willy Brandt: A Political Biography 1997 New York St. Martin’s Press

  • MaussMarcel HallsW. D. Essai sur le don, Presses Universitaires de France 1950/1990 London Routledge 1990 English trans. The Gift

    • Export Citation
  • NadelS. F. A Black Byzantium 1942 London Oxford University Press

  • PaeYŏnggi Han’guk sasang-gwa sahoe yulli (Korean Idoelogy and Social Ethics) 2007 Seoul Han’guk Haksul Chŏngbo

  • PolanyiKarl Primitive Archaic and Modern Economies 1968 New York Doubleday

  • SahlinsMarshall Stone Age Economics 1972 London Routledge

  • ServiceElman Origins of the State and Civilization 1975 New York Norton

  • WeberEugene Peasants into Frenchmen 1976 Stanford Stanford University Press

  • WeberMax TalcottParsons The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism 1930/2001 2nd ed. London Routledge

  • YiNŭnghwa SangŏkKim Chosŏn yŏsok ko (Reflections on Korean Women’s Ways) Modern Korean version 1926/1990 Seoul Tongmunsŏn

  • YiNŭnghwa YiChaegon Chosŏn musokko (Reflections on Korean Shamanism) Modern Korean version 1927/1991 Seoul Tongmunsŏn

  • 1

    January 6 1924-August 18 2009.

  • 5

    November 25 1915-March 21 2001.

  • 6

    September 1 1946-May 23 2009.

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 275 272 35
Full Text Views 200 200 6
PDF Downloads 40 40 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0