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The History and Research agenda of ISDPR (Institute of Social Development and Political Research)

by 사용자 SNU Sociology 2019. 9. 13.

website: www.isdpr.org

 

The Institute of Social Development and Political Research (ISDPR) at Seoul National University (SNU), was founded on August, 31st 1965 by Professor Lee, Hye Young (1925-1979). The ISDPR has a close connection with SNU’s Department of Sociology as Prof. Lee, the founder and the first Director of the ISDPR, was a professor of Sociology. Many professors from the Department of Sociology have since served as the director of ISDPR and led the institute for many years. The current director is Prof. Seokho Kim. 

 

  • Country-leading Think Tank, Contributing to Public Policy and Discussion of National Issues

  •  Active Since 1965, it is the Oldest Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences in South Korea

  •  Archived Data Amounting to 50 Years of Korean History Available for Public Use at the Korea Social Science Data Archive (KOSSDA)

  •  Expertise in Survey Research; Public Opinion, Deliberative Polling, and City-Wide Surveys

  •  Various Longitudinal Research Projects Funded by the National Research Foundation and Others

  •  Leads Interdisciplinary Research for Establishing a Future Agenda

  •  Publishes SCOPUS Indexed English Journal, “Journal of Asian Sociology” (formerly, “Development and Society”)


ISDPR conducts surveys, studies theory and carries out policy research regarding social development in Korea.
More specifically, the institute emphasizes providing structural diagnoses and policy suggestions for various emergent social issues in Korean society, while carrying out research to enhance common academic interests and mutual understanding of East Asia and more.
ISDPR has carried out detailed and timely studies that have propelled discourse throughout Korean society on issues related to politics, the economy, society, and culture based on its long-term research and data accumulation.

History of the ISDPR

  • The 1960s: Population Research Center Beginnings

Initially named the “Population Research Center,” the ISDPR was originally based on the Demographic Statistics Lab, founded by Prof. Lee in 1964. As an SNU institute with one of the richest histories, the ISDPR pioneered in the fields of demographic studies and related issues. In the 1960s, the ISDPR was the center for systematically investigating various social phenomena such as Korea’s transition into being a cosmopolitan society and corresponding social ramifications. The ISDPR was also the first in Korea to introduce systematic social surveying for research and was devoted to conducting public surveys and collecting data on demographic shifts.

 

 

  • The Developmental Phase: Expanding Academic Horizons in the 1970s and 80s

During the rapid development of South Korea, the ISDPR was the first in the nation to examine issues related to developmental states and it upheld its duty as an intellectual council for the government. From the late 1960s to the 1970s, the ISDPR expanded its focus from demographic shifts to other social issues, like economic growth, urbanization, migration, industrialization, and labor. Along with these new subjects of research, the ISDPR endeavored to explore other phenomena such as poverty, social stratification, democracy, and civil society. During the 1980s, through surveys on middle-class values and public attitudes, the institute illuminated the motivations and significance behind the Democratization Movement taking place in Korean Society.'

 

 

  • Taking Off: Beginning the Era of the Institute for Social Development and Policy Research in the 1990s

Because the 1980s were a time of such great change in Korean Society, the Population Research Center adopted a new name on its 30th anniversary in March of 1995: the Institute for Social Development and Policy Research. During this period, the ISDPR strived to investigate a variety of critical issues in Korean society, identify their structural causes, and propose appropriate policies. Simultaneously, the institute strived to carry out other East Asian research for the purpose of promoting mutual understanding and pursuing shared interests.

 

Among the ISDPR’s numerous major achievements during this period, the institute performed longitudinal socio-historical analyses by utilizing its accumulated data and expertise to determine research orientations. The Social Quality (SQ) project comprehensively represents all our academic activities and capabilities and has been funded by the Korea National Research Foundation (NRF) since 2007.

 

The ISDPR was also selected as a 6-Year Priority Research Centers Program (대학중점연구소사업) and won a grant from the NRF to conduct the “Comparative Study of Social Quality Regime” research from 2010 to 2016. It incorporated the changes and impacts caused by globalization and internationalization in its social quality research and examined the relationship between social development and the quality of society by operating comparative studies in Korea, and across East Asia and OECD countries which it used to create a model for the qualitative transformation of Korean Society.

 


The Present and Future of the ISDPR

  • Expertise in Survey Research

Today, the ISDPR continues to build its expertise in systematic social survey-based research and carries out a variety of public surveys. Commissioned by the Seoul city government, the ISDPR is currently conducting the “Seoul Survey 2019,” which is measuring the public opinion and social values of the citizens of Seoul. Notably, the ISDPR, with the awareness regarding the issue of participatory inequality in Korea, was one of the first to introduce Deliberative Polling, a method for carrying out public opinion research that involves a higher degree of participation. In particular, the ISDPR played the role of a verification committee for monitoring the public deliberation process of the “Participatory Surveys for Public Deliberation on Shin-Gori Nuclear Reactors No. 5 & 6,” as an advisory partner to the government in 2017. The institute and its researchers have since conducted related participatory public opinion surveys on a diverse array of public issues, including a bill for a Constitutional amendment, the Future of Education in Korea, the relationship between the department of Foreign Affairs and the public, and more. Furthermore, the ISDPR recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Stanford’s Center for Deliberative Democracy, which is the world’s leading research center for deliberative democracy and deliberation polling.

 

  • NRF-Funded Long-Term Research on Korea’s Changing Society

Among various research achievements, the ISDPR has conducted large-scale NRF-funded research projects on emerging issues in Korea. To name a few, “A Study on the 'Dream-Capital' and Divergence of the Youth Generation in the Transition Period” is a part of the “Social Science Korea” research project funded by the NRF. This research is focused on the younger generation and speculates about new social norms and publicness in the New Normal Era. Additionally, the “What Roles do Globalizing Actors Play?” project, which analyzes and utilizes international comparisons to determine the role of individual actors in the field of transnational organizations that emerging Korean multinational companies exist in, is currently being conducted as a part of the Global Research Network program of the NRF.

 

  • Leads Interdisciplinary Research for Establishing a Future Agenda

The ISDPR also continues to carry out studies on emerging issues in Korean society and develops an agenda that helps prepare for the future. One of these research initiatives is on the drastic demographic inequality between cities and local areas, which examines the realities of local youth and explores future policies for local governments.  “Transformation of Human-Animal Relations: Breaking the Neo-materialistic Boundary” is another interdisciplinary research project which addresses the growing issue of the relationship between animals and human society and the significance therein. Additionally, the ISDPR continues researching a wide variety of social issues and has established the Social Network Computing Center (SNCC) corresponding to eh emergence of an information-based society, while expanding research on social minorities and migration.

 


Journal of Asian Sociology

The ISDPR Publishes an English-Language Journal, Journal of Asian Sociology (JAS), Four Times a Year. With its main focus on Asia, and the East Asian region in particular, JAS presents works from the fields of society, culture, politics and economics. The journal provides empirical analysis and theoretical discussions on various sociological issues such as inequality, social change, policy, labor, the environment, social quality, demographic changes, and so on.

Founded as bulletin for the Population and Development Studies Center in 1972, JAS has a history of over 40 years. Since its founding, the journal has gained a reputation for its meticulous review processes and profound academic contributions. Consequently, it has been listed as a KCI (Korea Citation Index) journal selected by the National Research Foundation of Korea, since 2007, and was registered in SCOPUS in 2014.

 


Through these achievements, the ISDPR has become the leading organization with the academic expertise for current issues and keen insight into emergent phenomena. The institute provides a long-term agenda for sustainable growth through its comparative studies. Ultimately, the ISDPR has contributed its valuable insights and innovations to the development and execution of various public policies in Korea over the course of its entire history of over 50 years.

 

 

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