Chapter 12


The Kim Dae Jung government took office in early 1998, when Korea was bogged down in the worst economic and social turmoil caused by the 1997 financial crisis. One of the salient features of the governance style of the Kim Dae Jung government was to combine neo-liberal economic structural reforms with compensatory welfare reforms (Yang Jae-jin, 2000). This dual approach can be interpreted as an effort to prevent socioeconomic polarization, which otherwise could undermine the social cohesion necessary for the success of the massive neoliberal economic reforms adopted to overcome the legacies of the Korean developmental state and enhance international competitiveness. It was critical for the Kim Dae Jung government to maintain political support from the general public including labor, not only for a successful launch of neo-liberal economic reforms but also for their successful completion. Without their support or at least reluctant consent, the economic adjustment programs were bound to fail, as was seen in many Latin American countries. Therefore, the Kim Dae Jung government proceeded with the dual approach, commanding political support from civic movement groups, labor, progressive intellectuals, and college students.

The Kim governments dual approach was very interesting, since it challenged the conventional wisdom that globalization will weaken a nation-states policy autonomy and bring about a retrenchment of the welfare state. Therefore, this paper seeks to understand under what politico-economic conditions the Kim Dae Jung governments social policy initiatives were espoused and carried out, and assess their implementation performance and limitations.

In this paper, I will argue that the Kim Dae Jung governments welfare reforms were a remarkable historical step towards reshaping and enhancing social policies in the process of developing the Korean welfare system. The Korean case strongly suggests that welfare politics is still a domestic game largely conditioned by the way production has been structured as well as by other institutional legacies. I will also point out the inherent limitations of the social reform initiatives of the Kim Dae Jung government. First, although the recent development of Korean welfare reforms reflects a certain ideological propensity towards the popular sector, the Kim administrations social policies were not systematically designed with long-term goals in mind. Rather, they were by and large made on an ad hoc basis colored often by ideological excessiveness. Second, the Kim governments social welfare initiative was trapped in the legacies of the developmental state with low administrative capacities which preceded it so that the middle class and labor that had once supported Kim's government began to withdraw their support, resulting in far reaching consequences for social cohesion.

This paper is composed of five parts. Section two is a theoretical overview of the relationship between globalization and the welfare state. Two contending hypotheses the efficiency hypothesis vs. the compensation hypothesis and perspectives on the production and labor market regimes will be presented. The third section provides background information on the history of the Korean welfare state. The fourth section presents the Kim Dae Jung governments productive welfare initiative and major social policy changes, including social insurance coverage expansion, implementation of a new public assistance program, introduction of a mechanism for reaching a broad consensus, and labor market reform. The fifth section will assess the productive welfare initiative and underline constraints on it. The sixth and last section concludes by presenting a summary of the outlook for the productive welfare initiative. 




1. Globalization and the Welfare State

Debates on the effect of economic globalization on the welfare state or social policy have not been yet conclusively resolved. Recently, as Garrett (1998) and Rudra(2002) have noted, there are two quite contradictory sets of arguments: the efficiency and compensation hypotheses (Kaufman and Segura-Ubiergo, 2001). Each offers quite different propositions about the interests and resources of labor and capital, and about the economic and political options which governments face.

The efficiency hypothesis rests on the assumptions that high levels of social spending and the protected labor market of the modern welfare state reduce competitiveness in global markets. Therefore, as business groups become increasingly exposed to international competition and state elites become aware of the national imperative to survive amid global economic competition, they press governments to reduce social expenditures, privatize overburdened public sectors, and increase labor market flexibility. Liberalization of capital markets would presumably compound this pressure, since capitalists have greater exit options than workers, which in turn increase asset holders bargaining power vis-à-vis labor. In short, as their economies become more exposed to international competition, the incentives for governments to curb social welfare provisions become stronger, while the political costs of doing so decline. Consequently, this efficiency hypothesis claims that the modern extensive welfare states will come to resemble the more market-conforming form of the welfare state that the neo-liberals espouse.

The compensation hypothesis posits just the reverse effect. It focuses on the role of the welfare state as a mechanism for offsetting the social costs of economic globalization and contributing to the development of human capital. This hypothesis is supported by studies that show a very strong empirical association between economic openness, large public sectors, and a generous welfare state (Cameron, 1978; Katzenstein, 1985; Garrett, 1998; Rodrick, 1997).

The main tenets of the compensation thesis are as follows: first of all, increasing exposure to trade is likely to create a potential for political instability and a backlash against market-oriented economic policies. For state elites, there is thus an incentive to ward off such threats by providing welfare transfers to social sectors or geographic regions that have fallen behind in the process of neoliberal change. Second, increasing social spending might enhance the skill level and productivity of the labor force. The active labor market policy of Scandinavian welfare states is a good case in point. An active labor market policy provides unemployed workers with job training and job placement, as well as income support, which enhances their skill level and facilitates industrial restructuring. Moreover, as Huber and Stephens (2002) point out, countries with a comparatively equal income distribution and low poverty get a higher return on their investment in education since children from poor backgrounds are more likely to have the same supportive environment at home as those from middle class backgrounds and above. This higher educational achievement level ends up with a labor force with higher literacy skill levels and thus a greater capacity to meet the requirements of a knowledge-based economy. Accordingly, the compensation perspective argues that globalization does not necessarily lead to the shrinking of the welfare system, and that the effectiveness of the institutional structure of welfare systems of existing welfare state will lead to a growing the divergence between welfare regimes and capitalist economies.


2. Production Regime Theory and Labor Market 

Another interesting theoretical perspective regarding the diverse responses of the advanced welfare regimes to globalization is that different production and labor market regimes lead to different outcomes (Esping-Andersen, 1996 and 1999; Soskice, 1999; Pierson, 2000; Iversen, Pontusson, and Soskice, 2000). That is because the institutional basis of welfare regimes is closely related to the institutional features of the individual nation's productive systems and labor markets. They are like both sides of the same coin.

Esping-Andersen's three types of welfare regimes (liberal, conservative, and social democratic regimes) are based on the interweaving effect of different productive strategies, labor markets, and political coalitions. Recently, Soskice's distinction between coordinated market economies(CME) and liberal market economies(LME) has been widely used to explain the different strategies of western industrialized countries to globalization and neo-liberal pressures. According to this perspective, a coordinated wage bargaining system between the business community and labor organizations carefully managed by the state tends to maintain institutional consistency and economic effectiveness in spite of the pressures of globalization, while liberal market economies heavily relying on free market mechanism tend to adopt more intensive neoliberal strategies.


3. Domestic Politics and Diverse Courses of Welfare State Restructuring

The above theoretical perspectives imply that there are divergent routes that modern capitalist states should take in response to economic globalization, not only in terms of welfare policy, but also of productive and labor market policy. Indeed, whether each state should adopt efficiency or compensation strategies in general depends on domestic political economic institutions as intervening variables that condition the impact of globalization on the welfare state (Yang Jae-jin, 2000; Kay 1999; Niles 1999; Kaufman and Segura-Ubiergo, 2001).

What we need to bear in mind here are the modes of political governance, coalitional dynamics, and state capacity. The democratic mode of governance expands space for political maneuvers through which civil society can redress its concerns for social equality and welfare. Furthermore, political coalitional dynamics allow civil society to build its political power base to translate its interests more directly into viable social policies. But the provision of social welfare ultimately rests on state capacity. Leadership commitment, technocratic competence, and resource availability determine the nature, direction, and performance of social policy. Therefore, the impact of globalization is neither uniform nor unidirectional across countries over time. Welfare consequences of globalization are very much contextual, being dictated by the dynamic interplay of domestic politics, institutional configuration and state capacity.

Indeed, the paths of welfare state restructuring have never been uniform since the early 1980s when the neo-conservative attack on the welfare state came into being with the advent of Thatcher and Regan governments. While Anglo-Saxon countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have retrenched their welfare states, many Nordic and Continental European countries like Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany, and Austria retained the core of their social welfare arrangements. The latter group also differs from the former in dealing with labor market reform. They distanced themselves from strict neo-liberal approach which tries to increase labor market flexibility even at the expense of social equality.

Moreover, Southern European countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece expanded their welfare states, going against the international trend of downsizing the welfare state. Not only were the forces of globalization offset by the wave of democratization in the region, but also democratic governance was a catalysis for the rise of welfare states (Song Ho Keun, 2001). Post-Pinochet Chile also witnessed the revival of some of its social democratic tradition in the social welfare and labor policy area (Haggard and Kaufman, 1995; Suh Byung Hoon, 1994).     

In short, different countries have responded differently to the universal pressure of economic globalization. Then, what strategy did South Korea adopt to cope with the pressure generated by globalization? And what was the result? Before we get into the answer based on recent experience under the Kim Dae Jung government, a short overview of the development of Korean social welfare systems will be presented for a better understanding of the current process of social policy change.




1. Pre-crisis welfare system in Korea[1][1]

The Korean developmental state (Park Jung Hee to Chun Doo Hwan governments, 1961-1987) constructed a "minimalist welfare system", a product of the developmental ideology of growth first, distribution later. The dominant social paradigm was welfare through work. Thus, the combination of economic growth, high employment, and individual self-reliance served as the hegemonic social ideology during the period of the developmental state. Such ideology was shaped and sustained by the developmentalist coalition, composed of authoritarian politicians, technocrats, and chaebols (Ahn Byung Young, 1991; Lee He-kyung, 1993). Labor and other popular sectors were heavily repressed and controlled by the developmentalist coalition so that politics against the market was invisible. Thus, while the labor market was left unprotected except in some important export sectors, the state actively controlled industrial strategies in close coordination with big businesses.

The democratic opening in 1987, however, ushered in a new stage of social policy development in Korea. Peoples welfare demands erupted, forcing the government to accommodate such social pressures. The Roh Tae Woo government (1988-1992) enacted a minimum wage law and implemented a national pension program for private sector workers. The Kim Young Sam government (1993-1997) which followed introduced an unemployment social insurance scheme and expanded the national pension program to farmers and fishermen.

Nonetheless, elected governments could not transcend the developmentalist social welfare paradigm and showed a high degree of policy and political continuity with their authoritarian predecessors. They were significantly constrained by the conservative ruling party, the state apparatus, and the private sector (i.e. chaebols). There were no significant changes in their different stance toward labor and minimalist approach to social welfare (Haggard and Kang, 1999).

Overall, the Korean state was eager to invest available resources in economic development. The state was willing to divert resources from the economy into social welfare only when it was conducive to economic growth and political legitimization. <Table1> presents comparative data on selected governments social welfare commitments.


********** Table 1 about here *************

In 1993, South Koreas per capita income reached $7,660, but budgetary share for the health, housing, social security, and welfare sectors out of total government spending was 8.7 percent. That figure is far below Chile (50.8 percent) and Brazil (35.2 percent) whose per capita income was $3,170 and $2,930 respectively. The Korean governments low commitment to social welfare could be explained partly by the high defense burden (20.1 percent). However, given that Israels high defense burden (20.3 percent) did not lead to a low social welfare commitment, the trade-off between social welfare and economic services deserves attention. South Korea showed the highest ratio in economic services among the 12 countries under comparison by accounting for 18.8 percent of total government spending.[2][2]

This low social welfare commitment is also reflected in the belated introduction of major social insurance programs. Table 2 underscores the underdeveloped nature of South Koreas social welfare system in comparative perspective. Work injury insurance and pension schemes for state and military personnel, which are the most mature in South Korea, were introduced in the early 1960s, almost fifty years later than Brazil and Chile. Introduction of health insurance, a national pension scheme for private sectors, and unemployment insurance lags far behind not only advanced industrial countries such as the United States, Japan, Germany, and Sweden, but also developing countries such as Brazil and Chile.[3][3]


********** Table 2 about Here **************

In short, the Korean welfare system was far behind even in relation to her economic achievement. The government accepted limited responsibility for health, industrial injuries and pensions, and provided only minimum protection to those unable to participate in the labor market or to those having no family to rely on. Consequently, there has been a salient mismatch between the miracle economy and the social welfare system.

Moreover, the Korean social welfare system is run according to administrative expediency and political calculation from the top rather than relying on direction from the popular sectors. Social insurance programs, for instance, were introduced to cover military, government employees, and big business workers to solicit loyalty to the state, while the neediest such as urban marginals, informal sector workers, and peasants were excluded from the social safety net.

Nonetheless, this does not mean that welfare needs were not satisfied. The developmental state had deliberately developed quite a unique social welfare arrangement, which could be regarded as a social contract between the developmental state and the citizen for the past forty years.  In this implicit setting, social welfare demands involving health, housing, unemployment, old-age, and education were satisfied primarily through a fast growing real income in the market, which was buttressed by stable employment, strong family ties and corporate welfare embedded in the Confucian cultural tradition (refer to Yang Jae-jin, 2001: Chapter 4).


2. The Kim Dae Jung governments productive welfare initiative[4][4]


1) The 1997-8 Economic Crisis and Productive Welfare Initiative

The economic restructuring which followed the economic crisis in 1997 produced serious negative effects on social equality and welfare for the majority of the population of Korea. The most immediate outcome was high unemployment due to the economic restructuring. The unemployment rate rose sharply from 2.2 percent in July 1994 to 8.7 percent in February 1999, reaching 2 million, the highest since the Korean state had accelerated economic development strategies in the 1960s. The economic crisis also brought about a significant change in the labor market structure in Korea. The ratio of full-time workers (i.e. regular worker group) decreased from 56.6 percent in 1996 to 47.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 1999, the ratio of part time/temporary workers (i.e. non-standard worker group) increased from 43.4 percent in 1996 to 49.1 percent in 1998 and to over 50 percent in 1999. In short, the time is gone when a job was secure and stable; now, the casualization of labor prevails in South Korea (Gazier and Herrera, 2000; 332). Real wages also significantly dropped. In the third quarter of 1998, for instance, nominal wages dropped by 8.1 percent and real wages by 14.2 percent.  The reduction in nominal wages in 1998 was the first in Korean economic history since wage data began to be collected. Soaring unemployment, casualization of employment, and falling wages all aggravated poverty and inequality.

Although the new Kim Dae Jung government immediately implemented expanded coverage of the employment insurance program to include workplaces with more than five employees, along with some temporary public assistance measures such as public work programs, it was clear that the old social welfare arrangements built on the assumption of high economic growth and full stable employment were incapable of coping with the consequences for the welfare system of the worst economic crisis in modern Korean history.

After three temporary welfare measures in 1999, President Kim Dae Jung announced a "productive welfare initiative" and his long-term plan for building a "Korean Productive Welfare State". This new initiative differs in several ways from the policies of the previous governments. First, it recognizes social welfare as a basic human right, and emphasizes that the state is obliged to guarantee and protect that right. Second, the productive welfare initiative is predicated on the principle of welfare through work and assumes a role of the private sector. It declares that work is not only a means of earning a living, but an essential means of attaining a sense of satisfaction and value, i.e., attaining dignity. (Office of the President 2000:9). Finally, the productive welfare initiative wields social welfare policy as an instrument for enhancing social integration and achieving harmonious development between sustained economic growth and participatory democracy (Office of the President 2000: 7-17). In a sense, this new social welfare policy was a contradictory mixture of an emphasis on state protection and solidarity, on the one hand, and the role of the private sector and workfare in the provision of social welfares, on the other hand.

As will be discussed later in this paper, the actual social policies did not fully meet the ideals of productive welfarism. Nonetheless, it signified a departure from the previous social welfare paradigm in Korea.


2) Social Policy Change in the Kim Dae Jung Government

The Kim Dae Jung government made some visible progress despite the inherent limitations placed on it by institutional legacies and the pressure of globalization.


Coverage Expansion of Four Major Social Insurance Programs: first of all, one of the important features of the productive welfare initiative is that the new government achieved comprehensiveness in the coverage of statutory social insurance programs such as unemployment insurance, national pension, and industrial injury insurance by expanding their coverage to the marginal sector of the population, which is usually considered as being very difficult to bring under the protection of social insurance programs.[5][5] The coverage of the Employment Insurance System was initially limited to workers in companies with more than 30 employees. It was rapidly expanded in four steps: in January 1998, to firms with 10 or more employees; in March 1998, to companies with more than 5 workers; in October 1998, to enterprises with fewer than 5 workers, that is to say, to all companies; finally in July 1999, temporary workers (employed at least one month per year), part-time workers (working more than 18 hours a week), and day workers (who work less than 30.8 hours a week) were covered (Gazier and Herrera, 2000: 344).

The state-administered national pension and work injury schemes also expanded. The National Pension System expanded to include about 10 million self-employed persons and workers in companies with fewer than five employees (or, a half of the economically active population) from the previous 4.9 million company employees, and 2.1 million farmers and fishermen. Industrial Injury Insurance, which had covered 7.5 million workers in industrial firms with five or more employees, was extended to include additional 1.6 million workers in small business with four or less in July 2000. Employers of small business also became eligible for work injury insurance scheme.

Since Medical Insurance had already begun to cover the entire population in 1989, four major statutory social insurance programs now cover all workers both in the formal and informal sectors.[6][6] This universal coverage is quite unique among developing countries, and the speed at which the statutory social insurance programs expanded since they first were implemented is extraordinary among countries with universal coverage (Kim Yeon-myung, 1999).[7][7]

Another significant feature of the Kim Dae Jung government's welfare reform is the way it weaves the nations social safety nets: it attempted to unify fragmented welfare systems, aiming at social integration and solidarity. Aggressive reform of the Medical Insurance is the case in point. The Kim Dae Jung government unified various Medical Insurance plans, which were previously run by 142 insurance associations serving company employees and 227 regional insurance societies for general citizens including the self-employed, not to mention separate administrations for public employees and private teachers. Under the integrated health insurance scheme, the same standard of contribution and benefit is applied nationwide. The Kim Dae Jung government also expanded the National Pension in an integrated monopillar system, nullifying the previous Kim Young Sam governments plan to split the National Pension System into an earning-related scheme and a basic pension scheme and to place them under different financing and payment arrangements.

However, the new welfare initiatives are being tarnished by low effective coverage rates and low levels of benefits (Chung Moo-Kwon, 2002; Cho Young Hoon, 2001). As discussed above, coverage of the four major statutory social insurance schemes was extended to all working places. Therefore, the coverage should be universal. But the effective coverage rates fell well short of expectations due to a huge shortfall in contribution and a lack of effective monitoring capacity. As Table 3 reveals, effective coverage rates are still modest and especially so for non-standard workers. In many cases, small businesses and low-income irregular workers could not afford to contribute to the various insurance schemes, resulting in their exclusion from its benefits. Moreover, the high-income self-employed attempt either to hide their real incomes in order to take advantage of the free-rider problem built into the social insurance program, or intentionally avoid making contributions because they are suspicious of the long-term viability of the social insurance programs.


********** Table 3 about Here **********

Although we hope coverage rates will increase as the newly expanded systems mature, we cannot be too optimistic, since the Korean government has no appropriate administrative capacity to carry out massive social welfare schemes. Just as state social welfare systems were underdeveloped during the past developmental state era, so were state social bureaucracies. They lack essential administrative resources such as experienced personnel and organizational expertise. What is worse, the Korean government has no appropriate monitoring capacity to prevent evasion, especially among small companies and the self-employed. The Korean government may be eventually able to build effective administrative capacity and to enforce contribution collection. But given the casualization of the labor force after the economic crisis in Korea, it will take a longer time than it otherwise would; and in the meantime, a huge loophole will remain the same.

The second area of concern is the low benefit level. The unemployment benefit, for instance, is half of the workers salary during the month prior to the dismissal. This modest target benefit level aside, the effective income replacement is bound to be lower because the unemployment benefit is based on regular earnings only.[8][8]


Enactment of the National Basic Livelihood Security Act: A visible change is also seen in the field of public assistance, a breakthrough to guarantee a national minimum standard of living as a social right. The four major social insurance plans generally base eligibility for pensions and other periodic payments on the length of employment or self-employment. Although a redistributive function is built-in in the case of health insurance and national pension, the amount of pensions (long-term payments) and other periodic payments (short-term) in the event of unemployment, sickness, or work injury is usually tied to the level of earnings. Thus, they are insufficient and inefficient social safety nets for urban and rural marginals and those without work capacity. In order to deal with that gap, the Kim Dae Jung government renovated public assistance programs through the enactment of the National Basic Livelihood Security Act in August 1999. 

The old plan did not provide allowances to people capable of working, even if their incomes were less than the minimum cost of living. Now the needy, even though capable of working, receive a monthly benefit from the government equivalent to the difference between their real income and the minimum cost of living under any circumstances. Although the new law requires recipients to continue to seek or train for jobs, it marks a radical departure from the previous Elizabethan-Poor-Law style public assistance program, which distinguished the deserving from the non-deserving poor and protects only the former. The number of people receiving government allowances for livelihood assistance tripled to 1.52 million from the previous level of 0.54 million.

However, despite the legal rights guarantee of a minimum income, a strict means test still excludes many deserving poor from receiving benefits; for example, the poor who have family members -- broadly defined -- who are able-bodied and able to work do not receive benefits. Household incomes and other government allowances such as unemployment benefits and medical expense subsidy are subtracted from the modest allowance,[9][9] (Minister of Health and Welfare, 1999). As a result, the actual cash transfer is much more modest than desired. Moreover, paid sick leaves and family allowances, which are now common in mature welfare states, are not yet provided.

Introduction of Social Concertation
: Unlike the past, when civic movement groups and labor were ignored and denied a voice by authoritarian regimes, the Kim Dae Jung government attempted to establish institutionalized consensus-making by including them among core members of its inner circle and empowering them with new participatory roles in social and labor-market policymaking as well as in the improvement of the business-labor relations. The Tripartite Commission is an exemplar.

Upon his election, president-elect Kim Dae Jung proposed forming a tripartite national council comprising the representatives of government, business, and labor. After a month of negotiations, the Tripartite Commission reached a total of 90 historic agreements on structural adjustments and burden sharing, in which labor organizations agreed to more permissive rules on layoffs and the employment of temporary workers in return for government pledges to improve labor rights, fight unemployment (through public works programs and subsidies to unemployed workers), and weave an extensive social safety net (Moon Hyungpyo, Hyehoon Lee, and Yoo Gyeongjoon 1999, 82-96). This achievement might surprise those who favor the efficiency hypothesis and is in sharp contrast to the weakening of societal corporatist arrangement seen in advanced western welfare states. However, as we know, the corporatist institutional arrangement was still effective and maintained in most European welfare states in the process of restructuring their labor markets and welfare programs.

However, the Korean case reveals the unstable and ad hoc nature of the Tripartite Commission. This consensus-making organization was quite effective right after the economic crisis as a means of crisis management. In fact, Korea did not have many of the elements essential to institutionalize consensus-building among government, business, and labor such as a strong labor organization, a high rate of unionization, strong left-wing parties, a willingness by business to compromise with labor, and so on. Nonetheless, given the centralized organizations of business and labor developed as a result of the state-led industrialization, the economic crisis along with the enhancement of democratization provided an historical juncture for institutionalizing a consensus-making organization.

However, this consensus-building mechanism began to weaken when the Korean economy quickly recovered and the pressure to compromise caused by the economic crisis ceased. Labor came to doubt the effectiveness of the tripartite committee, as the many promises, especially commitment by the government and business to employment security, were not met. Businesses had no incentive to actively participate in it, once they acquired labor market flexibility from the initial agreement. Above all, the government's inconsistent policy and the lack of a commitment to the institutionalizing of the tripartite committee contributed to its instability.

Labor Market Reform: The Kim Dae Jung government improved labor market flexibility through more permissive rules on layoffs anddispatch work. This policy is consistent with the government's neo-liberal economic restructuring and the need to respond to the pressure of economic globalization. As mentioned above, non-standard labor began to rapidly increase after economic structural adjustment began, while labor market flexibility for the regular workers in the strongly unionized sector was less serious. This implies a further stratification within labor as well as broader social inequality, resulting in a serious barrier to social cohesion and integration in the future.

To offset this trend, however, the government strengthened labor rights: 1) civil servants were allowed to form workplace associations, 2) teachers unions were permitted, 3) the KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, the then outlawed leading organization of democratic unions) was legalized, and 4) political activities of labor unions were permitted, just to name a few (OECD, 1999; 158-159). However, the effects of these measures are not immediate and require a long-term time to have much effect.

A more serious problem is that the ambitious expansion of coverage as a compensatory measure was made more difficult by the rapid expansion of the ranks of the irregular employees, since one of the major policy goals of the expansion of coverage was to protect hitherto excluded irregular workers. The new public assistance program does not yet guarantee minimum incomes as a social right because of still excluding many of those who deserve and need assistance.

This discrepancy between the government's impressive welfare measures and their actual implementation is rooted in Korea's distinctive labor market structure: the large portion of non- standard workers in the labor sector and the large number of self-employed in the economically active population (30.6% as of 2000/ National Statistics Office, 2001). It would be very difficult for welfare reforms to protect the marginal sector without a substantial improvement in the ability to monitor the incomes of the self-employed and in the ability to ensure that marginalized workers actually contribute to the various insurance programs.

All in all, despite remarkable formal institutional expansion, the faltering expansion of coverage is highly likely to end up cementing stratification, which would hamper social integration. And, the Kim Dae Jung government did not make much progress toward eliminating differences across income level due to low levels of effective coverage and benefit. Therefore, as Chung Moo-Kwon (2002) points out, the Korean social welfare regime has grown in the direction of conservative/corporatist welfare regime of Continental Europe in terms of formal institutional arrangement, while the performance of the Korean welfare regime is in effect closer to the liberal Anglo-American regime. In short, the productive welfare initiative has fallen short of bringing about a paradigm shift from the developmental state to a welfare state in South Korea.


3. Making Sense of the  Productive Welfare Initiatives: Enabling conditions and institutional barriers

In the name of productive welfarism, the Kim Dae Jung government strongly intervened in the reform of the welfare systems to bring marginal groups under the public social safety net. Formal social security programs now reach those previously excluded workers in small businesses with four or less employees and low-income marginal workers. These programs were erected on the principle of income redistribution, universalism, and solidarity in the name of social integration. Plus, public assistance programs and labor laws were overhauled to enhance social and labor rights. Social policymaking, including labor market policies, is also no longer the preserve of the government and business alone, as is seen in the activities of the Tripartite Commission. Progressive civic movement groups and labor participate actively in social policymaking. Indeed, the governments social expenditures have been souring. Under the Kim Dae Jung governments productive welfare initiatives, the government social welfare budget[10][10] The social welfare budget is limited to core government commitments i.e. expenditures on four major social insurance schemes, the National Basic Livelihood Program, and on social service institutions. Thus, it excludes spending on other welfare measures such as active labor market policies and public works.  almost tripled in just three years, from 3.1 trillion won in 1998 to 8.1 trillion won in 2001 (Chosun Ilbo, January 28, 2001 in Yang Jae-jin, 2001).

What made such remarkable change possible? Plus, why did such remarkable change fall short of realizing the ideals of productive welfarism? The answer could be found in the contingent dynamic interaction among the domestic political economy of the Kim Dae Jung government, the institutional legacies of the historically formed Korean developmental state, and the pressure of globalization. Here I will discuss the enabling conditions for extensive social welfare reform, and then add some discussion of institutional and structural barriers to reform.

First of all, a primary condition was the nature of the political coalition which formed the basis of the Kim Dae Jung government (Yang Jae-jin, 2000). A realignment of the power structure has entailed a fundamental change in the social policymaking process, critically contributing to the strengthening of the social safety nets. From the beginning, the Kim Dae Jung government faced the complex task of maintaining its main support base of the lower middle and working classes amid the sweeping liberalization of the Korean economy demanded by the IMF and the World Bank. In the economic policy area, neo-liberal adjustment policies were a continuing source of tension between the government and labor or, to a lesser degree, civic organizations. As far as social policy is concerned, however, there was no serious disagreement over to governments plans to expand social welfare as a compensation for neoliberal structural adjustment, or more precisely as glue to hold together its support base, which could fall apart during the neoliberal economic reform period.

Unlike years past, when civic movement groups and labor were ignored and excluded from any significant role in policy making, the Kim Dae Jung government made them members of its inner circle and allowed them to participate in making social policy. Their degree of participation varied, but the most striking difference from the past was their regular participation as standing members of a variety of policy committees of the Ministry of Health and Welfare and social insurance administrative bodies. They evaluated, approved, or vetoed government proposals and even initiated new programs. For example, the controversial National Basic Livelihood Security Act enacted in August 1999 was espoused and proposed by the most outspoken liberal civic movement group, the Peoples Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), and its allied forces, including other prominent NGOs and the KCTU, the leading organization of democratic labor unions (Ahn Byung Young, 2000). In this sense, a pro-welfare social policy network was established by creating formal links between these groups on the one hand, and the ruling party and the Senior Secretary for Welfare and Labor (formerly Senior Secretary for Social Development) of the Blue House (i.e. Office of the President) on the other (Yang Jae-jin, 2000: Ch. 7; Shin Dong Myeon, 2000).

However, it should be noted that the ruling party consisted of people with a great variety of ideological coloring. Only some of the ruling elite were progressive and concerned with the welfare reform: The majority of them were conservative. Although the MOHW, a major state welfare bureaucracy, often became a coalition partner with the progressive social partners, they were still opportunistic and had different reasons based on their bureaucratic interests for forming such alliances. Furthermore, the economic bureaucrats, who occupy the commanding height of the state bureaucracy with their control of economic policy and the state budget, still retain considerable influence on social policy-making, especially the implementation process.

President Kim Dae Jung could not command strong backing from his own party for his productive welfare initiative because the ruling party was not, by nature, a leftist party, although it was the most progressive major party in the conservative Korean political milieu. More importantly, the ruling party was not well prepared for embracing the ideals of productive welfarism since it lacked a coherent ideology. Therefore, ill-formed social policies were implemented, and that provoked an unnecessary backlash from the public.

The second important enabling and constraining factors are the poor quality of the previous welfare system and the pressure of international financial institutions such as IMF and the World Bank. International lending institutions are traditionally known to impose neo-liberal reforms without regard for negative social welfare consequences. In the case of South Korea, however, both institutions have been quite attentive to social welfare issues, because they worried about the underdeveloped social safety nets of Korea, which would hamper the smooth implementation of neoliberal structural adjustment. Therefore, the $2 billion structural adjustment loan by the Bank to South Korea, for instance, laid out conditions calling for strengthening of the social safety nets: the extension of unemployment insurance to employees in small-scale enterprises and the overhaul of the nations pension and health insurance systems (World Bank, 1998a, 1998b). However, it should be noted that the international financial institutions backing for vigorous social welfare reforms was not for social development itself. It was a precondition for smooth neoliberal economic reform.

Third, although the underdeveloped social safety nets of the previous developmental state provided the reason for massive social welfare reform, the government had to fight against the legacies of the developmental state and the resistance of the conservative groups embedded in the previous institutional structure. The dominant social paradigm of economy-first and distribution-later is embedded in national elites in state bureaucracies, business, and the press. For example, conservative economic bureaucrats, who control the national budget, sought to minimize the financial burden of new social welfare programs by putting their conservative view into the implementation stage when detailed procedures were formulated. Moreover, the vested interest groups embedded in the previous welfare system such as the business, the middle class, and the workers of the former social insurance organizations strongly resisted the welfare reforms.

Fourth, the low performance of welfare reform was often aggravated by a mismatch between ideological excessiveness on the part of civic movement groups, which strongly supported the productive welfare initiative and espoused and designed many social policies, and the lack of sound bureaucratic and pragmatic principles to guide implementation of the reform measures. Ideological rigidity often undermined administrative rationality and policy feasibility, provoking public outrage from the middle class at the stage of implementation. Under the strong redistributive mechanism of Korean social insurance schemes, expansion of coverage to embrace the lower class entails a massive income transfer from the middle class to the lower strata. Therefore, it was inherently very hard to garner political support from the middle class for the productive welfare initiative. Under the circumstances, an ill-prepared expansion of coverage and the resulting large-scale evasion of required contribution coupled with false income reports, called into question the feasibility of income redistribution through social insurance programs, weakening political support for the productive welfare initiative.

Finally, a labor market structure with a high portion of irregular workers and the self-employed became an important structural barrier to the effective expansion of the social insurance programs to the marginal sector. Although social insurance programs were expanded to protect workers hit by neoliberal labor market reform, ever-increasing non-regular employment has made all the governments effort less effective that it would have been otherwise.

In sum, the compensatory welfare reform was a historic turning point in the development of the Korean welfare state. Korea appears to be an anomaly in the global trend toward a retrenchment of the welfare state. Yet, South Koreas nascent welfare state has been faltering due to developmental legacies, the absence of consolidated coalitional political support, often-excessive ideological input into social policymaking, low levels of administrative capacity, and casualization of the labor market.



In the golden age of economic prosperity and political stability during the 1950s and 1960s, it was relativelyeasy for governments to pursue their Keynesian interventionist policies of the full-employment welfare state, without fear of undermining macroeconomic performance. These days, however, it is widely believed that globalization has shifted the post-war balance between capital and labor and has contributed to a weakening of the states autonomy in the formulation of its own social agenda.

However, the Korean case suggests that the rationale for social welfare has not eroded even in the era of globalization,and that nation states still retain a considerable level of policy autonomy, sufficient to construct distinctive social welfare systems(Yang Jae-jin, 2000: 205-208). Even at the heart of the economic crisis and its aftermath, the Kim Dae Jung government could deploy a variety of policy instruments to shelter victims from the competitive risks of the international economy. Behind this move lie President Kim Dae Jungs political leadership and the active participation by civic movement groups and labor. In this regard, it is important to note that democratization by and large provide a nurturing ground for the development of a welfare state in Korea, offsetting the negative consequences of economic globalization. Realization of the underdevelopment of the Korean social safety nets and the sympathetic attitude atmosphere of the international lending institutions were also favorable for vigorous social welfare reform. 

Yet, realizing a mature welfare state in Korea is a very challenging task. As discussed above, the new welfare initiatives were tarnished by low levels of effective coverage and low benefit levels. Moreover, uneven income distribution andstratification remain almost the same, despite ambitious social reform. Neo-liberal labor market reform posed one of the biggest challenges to the materialization of a mature Korean welfare state. And more importantly, structural barriers such as developmentalist legacies may not be soon overcome. It seems, therefore, that the Kim governments productive welfare initiative in response to the globalization could not easily accomplish its ideological goal of social integration and solidarity. It has now become a new mandate for the next governmentof President Roh Moo Hyun to improve administrative capacity and garner public support. Also, the Korean government should exert more efforts to protect non-standardworkers in order to build a mature welfare state in South Korea.




Table 1. Governmental Welfare Commitment (% of central government budget,1993)



Per capita income



Economic Servicesa

Health (A)

Housing,soc.sec & welfare (B)


































































S. Korea
































Source: World Bank (1995, 180-181) in Yang Jae-jin (2000, 89)

Note: Economic services comprise expenditure associated with the regulation, support, and more efficient operation of business; economic development; redress of regional imbalance; research and trade promotion; and creation of employment opportunities.






Table 2. Timing of Social Insurance Introduction



Work injury


































S. Koreac





Sources: a Flora and Heidenheimer (1981); b U.S. Social Security Administration (1999) ;c Lee He-kyung. (1994) in Yang Jae-jin (2000, 91).

Note: d Year for the introduction of the Nation Pension Scheme for private sector workers.



Table 3. Effective Coverage Rate





Severance Payment

Regular Workers





Non-standard Workers










Source: Chung Moo-Kwon (2002).





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Chung, Moo-Kwon. 2002. “Kim Dae Jung jungbooeui Pokjigaehyuckgwa Hankook Pokjijedoeui Sungkyunk Nonjaenge Daehayuh: Baljunjooeui Yousankwa Bokjigaehyukeui Hangae” [On the Debates on the Nature of the Social Welfare Reform in the Kim Dae Jung Government: the Legacies of the Developmental State and Limitations for Social Welfare Reform]. Sangwhangwabokji. No. 11: 109-161.


Esping-Andersen, Gosta. 1999. Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies: Oxford University Press.


Esping-Andersen, Gosta. Ed. 1996. Welfare States in Transition: National Adaptations in Global Economies. Thousand Oaks, CA.:Sage Publications.


Flora, Peter and Arnold J. Heidenheimer. 1981. The Development of Welfare States in Europe and America. New Brunswick: Transaction Books.


Garret, Geoffrey. 1998. Partisan Politics in the Global Economy. New York: Cambridge University Press.


Gazier, Bernard and Remy Hrrea. 2000. “Escaping from the crisis and activating labor market policies in Asia.” Paper presented at an international conference on “Flexibility vs. Security.” Seoul, Korea, November 30-December 1, 2000.


Haggard, Stephan and David Kang. 1999. “The Kim Young Sam Presidency in Comparative Perspective.” In  Democratization and Globalization in Korea: Assessments and Projects, eds. Chung-in Moon and Jongryn Mo. Seoul, Korea: Yonsei University Press


Haggard, Stephan. 1990. Pathways from the Periphery: The Politics of Growth in the Newly Industrializing Countries. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


Huber, Evelyne and John D. Stephens. 2002. “Globalization, Competitiveness, and the Social Democratic Model.” Social Policy and Society. 1(1): 47-57.


Iversen, Torben, Pontusson, Jonas, and Soskice, David. 2000. Unions, Employers, and Central Banks: Macroeconomic coordination and institutional change in social market economies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Katzenstein, Peter. 1985. Small States in World Markets. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.


Kaufman, Robert and Alex Segura-Ubiergo. 2001. “Globalization, Domestic Politics, and Social Spending in Latin America: A Time-Series Cross-Section Analysis, 1973-1977.” Paper presented at a conference on “Redefining Korean Politics,” The 6th International Conference, the Korean Political Science Association, Yonsei University, August 22-24, 2001.


Kaufman, Robert and Stephen Haggard. 1995. The Political Economy of Democratic Transitions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.


Kay, Stephen J. 1999. “Unexpected Privatizations: Politics and Social Security Reform in the Southern Cone.” Comparative Politics 31, no. 4


Kim, Dong Sung. 1996. “Social Welfare Policy in the East Asian and Latin American NICs: A Comparative Study of Social Welfare Variations.” Ph.D. diss. Department of Government and Politics, University of Maryland at College Park.


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Lee, He-kyung. 1993. “Hankookeui Sodeuckbojangjedo: Apchooksungjangeui Hankewa Taldogoohwaeui Kwaje” [Korean Social Security System: the Limitation of Compressed Growth and Task for De-instrumentalization], Yonseisahoibokjiyungoo [Yonsei Social Welfare Studies], Vol.1.


Moon, Chung-in and Jae-jin Yang. 2001. “The Kim Dae Jung Government and Productive Welfare Initiative: Ideals and Reality.” Paper presented at a conference on “Korea in Transition: Three Years under the Kim Dae Jung Government,” Georgetown University, March 25-27, 2001.


Moon, Hyungpyo, Hyehoon Lee, and Yoo Gyeongjoon. 1999. Economic Crisis and Its Social Consequences. Seoul, Korea: Korea Development Institute


National Statistics Office (Republic of Korea). 1999. KOSIS.


Neils, Kimberly J. 1999. “Political Institutions and Redistributive Social Spending in the Developing World.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Atlanta, Georgia, September 1-5.


OECD. 1999. OECD Economic Survey 1998-1999:158-159


Office of the President. 2000. DJ Welfarism: A New Paradigm for Productive Welfare in Korea. Seoul, Korea: Office of President


Pierson, Paul. ed. 2000. The New Politics of the Welfare State. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Rodrick, Dani. 1997. Has Globalization Gone Too Far?. Washington D.C.: Institute for International Economics.


Rudra, Nita. 2002. “Globalization and the Decline of the Welfare State in Less Developed Countries.” International Organization. Volume 56, Number 2, pp. 411-445.


Shin, Dong Myeon. 2000. “Financial Crisis and Social Security: The Paradox of the Republic of Korea.” International Social Security Review. 53(3): 83-107.


Song, Ho Keun. 1998. “Sinsahoiundong Chamyuja Bunsuk” [The Analysis of Participants in the New Social Movement]. Hankuk Sahoi Kwahak [Korean Social Science]. 20.3


Soskice, David. 1999. "Divergent Production Regimes: Coordinated and Uncoordinated Market Economies in the 1980s and 1990s" in Herbert Kitschelt et al. eds. Continuity and Change in Contemporary Capitalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Suh, Byung Hoon. 1994. “Chile: Hyukmyungkwa Kijuckeui Nara?” [Chile: Revolution and a Miracle Country?]. Sasang (Fall): 79-122.


Yang, Jae-jin. 2000. “The 1999 Pension Reform and a New Social Contract in South Korea.” Ph. Dissertation. Political Science, Rutgers University.


Yang, Jae-jin. 2001. Koojojojungkwa Sahoibokji: Baljunkookga Sahoibokji Paradigmeui Boongkoiwa Kim Dae Jung jungbooeui Kwaje” [“Structural Adjustment and Social Welfare: The Collapse of the Developmental State Social Welfare Paradigm and the Kim Dae Jung Government's Mandate]. Hankookjungchihakhoibo [Korean Political Science Review]. 35(1).


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World Bank. 1998b. “Report and Recommendation of the President of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to the Executive Directors on a Proposed Structural Adjustment Loan in an Amount Equivalent to US$2.0 Billion to the Republic of Korea,”(October 2). World Bank Report NO.P-7258-KO.

[1][1] This section draws heavily on Yang Jae-jin (2000).

[2][2] Korea also stood out for its commitment to public education. The Korean government poured into education twice the amount it spent on social welfare. Indeed, South Korea represents a classical example of the developmental state where the government channeled available resources preferentially into economic and human resource development. Singapore, another tiger economy, shows a similar pattern: a combination of a relatively low social welfare commitment and high investment in economic services and education.  

[3][3] Developmental strategy is critical (Kim Dong Sung, 1996; Haggard 1990). Unlike Latin American newly industrialized countries where inward-looking import substituting industrialization provided a safe haven for profit-making for local entrepreneurs, Koreas outward-looking export-oriented industrialization necessitated price competitiveness in the world market. In Latin America, producers could pass social-welfare-related labor costs on to consumers, but in Korea, an increase in labor costs would directly hamper international competitiveness. Therefore, the economic imperative was that social insurance programs should be delayed as long as possible.

[4][4] This section draws mainly on Moon Chung-in and Yang Jae-jin (2001) and Chung(2002).

[5][5] National health insurance already covered the entire population from 1989.

[6][6] Besides, the Labor Standard Law has been into effect in the small-sized working places with less than five employees since 1999. Therefore, hitherto excluded marginal workers are now protected by the government. The minimum wage system, which took effect only in the firms with ten workers or more, was also extended to cover work-places with five workers and more in September 1999. Thus, about 85 percent of all workers are now protected by the minimum wage system (Shin Dong Myeon, 2000).

[7][7] In Korea, it took only 12 years from its introduction for Medical Insurance to reach the whole nation by 1989; 4 years for Employment Insurance by 1998; 11 years for the National Pension by 1999; 37 years for Industrial Injury Insurance by 1999.

[8][8] Employee compensation in Korea is composed of three components: regular earnings, bonus, and overtime payments. For blue color workers, the regular earning portion is anomalously small and bonus and overtime payments account for almost half of monthly earnings because employers and employees have the same interest in reducing tax payment and insurance contributions which are based on regular earnings (Hanguk Kyongje, November 6, 1999).

[9][9] As of 2000, the monthly allowance is 324,000 won or 270 US $ (1200 won = $1). 

[10][10] The social welfare budget is limited to core government commitments i.e. expenditures on four major social insurance schemes, the National Basic Livelihood Program, and on social service institutions. Thus, it excludes spending on other welfare measures such as active labor market policies and public works.

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  돌이켜 보면 나는 초등학교 입학 이후 거의 일생동안 책가방과 함께 살아왔다. 현재까지의 내 인생 대부분이 학창생활이거나 교수시절이었으니 책가방은 언제나 내게 필수품이었다. 그러다 보니 책가방은 거의 내 몸의 일부나 다름없게 되었다. 책가방이 손에 없으면 마치 장수에게 칼이 없는 것처럼 금방 허전하고 불안하기까지 했다. 내가 원래 손에 들었던 우산이나, 몸에 지녔던 시계나 모자 같은 물건들을 곧잘 잃어버리는 편인데 여태껏 한 번도 책가방을 잃어버렸던 기억이 없다.

어떤 때는 가방에 책과 자료를 가득 채우고 연구실에 갔다가 하루 종일 바쁘게 맴돌면서 책가방을 한 번도 열어보지도 못하고 저녁때 그대로 가져오는 경우도 적지 않았다. 아마 대부분의 교수들이 비슷한 체험을 했으리라 생각된다. 항상 글에 쫓기다 보니 어쩌다 여름휴가를 갈 때도 가족 눈치를 보며 두툼한 책가방을 들고 떠나곤 했다. 그 경우에도 피서지에서 제대로 글을 써 본 기억은 없다. 몇 년 정부 일을 할 때도, 항상 책가방을 끼고 다녔다. 수행비서가 들겠다고 나서면 놀라 빼앗아 들곤 했다. 그래야 든든하고 마음이 놓였다.

외국여행을 다녀올 때 내게는 물론 가족들에게 작은 선물 하나 사온 적이 없었다. 그런데 한번은 유럽 여행지에서 마음에 꼭 드는 고풍스러운 가죽 책가방을 하나 발견하곤 난생 처음 쇼핑을 했다. 그랬다가 온 가족으로부터 장난 끼 어린 집단성토를 받았지만, 그게 다름 아닌 책가방이라서 사면이 된 적도 있었다.

정년을 하고 이곳 속초로 내려 온 후에도, 어쩌다 서울을 갔다 올 때는 항상 책가방을 들고 움직인다. 빈손으로 잠시 다녀와도 될 경우도 예외 없이 책가방을 챙기게 된다. 이미 직업병이 고황(膏肓)에 이른 것이다.

내 처에 따르면 최근에 내 몸이 걸을 때면 왼쪽으로 조금 기울어지는데, 그게 다 일생 오른 손으로 무거운 책가방을 들고 다녔기 때문이란다. 그럴 리가 없다고 항변하지만, 그 말이 내심 그럴싸하게 느껴지기도 한다.

나는 내가 아직 책가방을 손에서 놓지 못하는 것을 스스로 좋게 생각한다. 대단한 성과를 기대할 수는 없지만, 아직 학문에 대한 집착과 공부에 대한 열정이 남아 있다고 느끼기 때문이다. 올해에는 그 불씨를 좀 더 피울 수 있었으면 좋겠다.


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    아이튠즈는 누구나 무료로

  지난 70, 80년대 대부분 대학의 교수 연구실에는 학교가 제공하는 이렇다 할 냉, 난방시설이 없어 더위와 추위를 교수 스스로 해결해야 했다. 그래서 교수들은 더위가 기승을 부리는 한 여름에는 주로 선풍기에 의존해서, 그리고 긴 겨울철에는 기름을 아끼며 석유난로를 피워 견뎠다.  

그러다가 80년대 후반인가 90년대 초부터 겨울철이면 중앙난방식으로 하루에 두 차례 불을 때 주곤 했는데, 그게 꽤나 인색해서 오후 늦게 되면 연구실에는 한기가 맴돌아 손을 비벼야 했다. 90년대에 들어와서 언제부턴가 냉방도 가능하게 되었다. 그런데 에어컨은 교수 부담으로 스스로 설치하고, 전기료는 학교가 내준다는 조건이었다. 처음에는 머뭇머뭇하더니 젊은 교수들부터 한 사람, 두 사람 에어컨을 설치했고 그러다보니 90년대 말쯤에는 거의 모든 연구실의 냉방문제가 해결되었다.

그런데 불과 몇 년 전까지 나는 그냥 에어컨 없이 선풍기 하나로 여름을 버텼다. 30년 넘어 그렇게 지냈는데, 그리고 정년이 내일 모렌데 새삼스레 무슨 에어컨이냐는 생각이었다. 궁핍한 시대를 살아 온 우리 세대에게는 한 여름 연구실에서 땀 흘리는 게 그리 못 견딜 일만은 아니었다. 또 공부한다는 것이 얼마간 자기절제, 인내, 극기와 통한다고 생각해왔기에 스스로 그러는 내 모습을 스스로 그럴싸하게 여겼던 것도 사실이다.

그러던 중 어떤 여름날 내방 조교가 불쑥 “선생님, 사회과학대학 안에 이제 에어컨 없는 교수 연구실이 두 방밖에 안 남았어요.”라고 말했다. 나는 별 생각 없이 “아, 그래”라고 답하며 그냥 넘겼다.

그리고 얼마 뒤 방 조교 출신의 제자 교수 한명이 내가 혼자 있는 연구실에 찾아 왔다. 원래 주저 없이 직설적으로 자기표현을 하는 친구인데, 그날도 “선생님, 이 더위에 이게 무슨 고행이십니까. 숨이 막히네요.”라고 푸념을 앞세웠다. 그리고는 빙긋 웃더니 “선생님은 그렇다 치고, 조교 인권(人權)도 생각하셔야지요.”라고 거침없이 내뱉었다.

그 순간 나는 마치 비수를 맞은 느낌이었다. 주체하기 어려운 회오(悔悟)의 정이 머리를 쳤다. “아니 이럴 수가. 그동안 내가 제 생각만 해왔구나. 이 방에 둘이 산다는 것, 그리고 나 아닌 그 사람이 나와 다른 삶을 살아 온 신세대 젊은이라는 사실을 이렇게 간과하다니! 그가 선풍기 하나로 견디면서 얼마나 힘겨웠을까.

  다음 날 나는 부랴부랴 에어컨을 설치하고, 조교에게 “그동안 고생이 너무 컸다”고 심심한 위로를 했다. 그러자 영문을 모르는 조교는 “정년을 코앞에 두시고 이제 에어컨을 다시면 어떡해요. 다시려면 아예 일찍 다실게지”라며 어정쩡한 표정으로 나를 쳐다보았다.  역시 상대편의 입장을 먼저 생각해 보고 이해하라는 역지사지(易地思之)는 쉬운 일이 아니다.


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  1. Pandora Charms 2012.11.19 12:53 Address Modify/Delete Reply

    속에서 이순간을 기다려왔어

  나이가 들면서 사람들은 정말 불완전한 존재라는 생각을 자주 하게 된다. 특히 최근 들어 이념과 연관하여 그런 느낌을 많이 가진다. 누구나, 특히 배운 사람들이면, 일정한 이념적 지향이 있게 마련이고, 그러다 보면 얼마간의 이념적 편향성을 보일 수가 있다. 그러나 지나치게 한쪽으로 기울어져 사리를 분간하지 못한다면 얘기는 달라진다.


  그런데 점차 우리사회에서 건강한 토론이 사라지고 있다. 일정 주제에 대해서 깊이 생각하고 논의하기에 앞서 미리 입장을 정하고 제 주장만 앞세운다. 그러니 온통 독백만 난무하고 진정한 대화는 실종한다. 경청, 숙고, 심의, 합의 등의 개념이 무의미해 진지 오래다. 언필칭 중도를 얘기하고 합리를 앞세우는 사람들과도 몇 마디 나누다 보면, 그가 이미 이념의 수렁에 깊숙이 빠져 있음을 절감하는 경우가 많다.


  그렇다면 이러한 이념의 소용돌이에서 헤어나는 방법은 무엇일까. 그 중 하나의 방법은 일정 쟁점이 제기되었을 때, 우선 그것이 던져주는 정치적 상징이나 이념적 함의에 현혹되어 섣부른 결론을 내리는 것을 삼가는 일이다. 그 보다는 일단 판단을 유예하고, 사실과 분석에 바탕을 두어 생각을 바탕부터 다시 정리해 보는 노력을 해 볼 필요가 있다. 이때 사실과 정보를 가능한 한 폭넓게, 다양한 연원에서, 치우치지 않게 수집해야 하며, 실증적 분석과 더불어 질적 분석을 함께 병행해야 한다. 쟁점을 역사적으로 되짚어 보는 것도 의미가 있다.


  우리 주변에는 일생 한 신문만 본다고 자랑삼거나, 마음에 맞는 무리들과만 교류한다고 내세우는 사람이 적지 않다. 그러나 이 경우, 같은 관점만 보강하기 때문에 생각의 판도를 넓이는 데는 오히려 장애가 된다. 폐쇄회로에서 벗어나기 위한 의식적 노력이 필요하다.


  결론도 쾌도난마식으로 찬, 반 양 갈래로 내릴 일도 아니다. 문제해결을 획일적으로 할 것이냐 다양하게 할 것이냐, 시기적으로 장, 단기적으로 혹은 몇 단계로 나누어 할 것이냐, 아니면 일거에 할 것이냐, 강도는 어떻게 할 것이냐 등에 따라 매우 다양한 대안이 존재한다. 하나하나 따져 보며 심도 있는 토론을 통해 합의수준을 높여야 한다.


  성숙한 사회는 열린 마음, 합리적 토론, 사회적 합의가 가능한 사회다. 성숙사회를 이루기 위한 지식인들의 성찰과 분발이 절실하게 요청되는 시대이다.


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  1. wholesale jerseys 2012.10.24 16:58 Address Modify/Delete Reply

    뭐 여러가지로 한번 생각해 봐도 되겠죠? ^ ^

  전에 대학에 나갈 때 나는 아침에 출근하면 으레 교수 휴게실에 들려 우편함에서 각종 우편물을 한아름 안고 연구실로 향했다. 가끔 반가운 편지나 주문한 책, 유익한 자료도 있지만, 대체로 별 쓸모없는 자료들이 대부분이고, 아무짝에도 소용없는 선전물도 주체하기 어려울 정도로 많이 배달된다. 그때부터 내가 연구실에서 하는 첫 번째 작업은 필요한 자료를 고르는 일이다. 한 마디로 버릴 것은 버리고, 챙길 것은 챙기는 작업인데 그게 생각처럼 쉽지 않았다. 여기서 중요한 것은 버릴 것을 제때 과감히 버리는 것이다.

우선 잡다한 선전물이나 한 눈에 불필요한 자료나 문건은 그냥 휴지통에 넣는다. 그리고 나면 내게 크게 도움이 됨직한 것부터 그런대로 쓸모가 있는 것, 그리고 당장엔 별 필요가 없지만 언젠가 참고가 될 수 있어 보이는 것 까지 다양한 종류가 남는다. 욕심 같아서는 많은 것들을 거두고 싶지만 실제 내 연구실 공간이 그것을 허락하지 않고, 잡다한 자료가 훗날 오히려 짐이 된다는 그간의 경험 때문에 자료 선별과정에서 나름대로 신중을 기하게 된다.

곧 제법 큰 휴지통에 버려진 자료들이 수북이 쌓인다. 그리고 나머지는 일단 필요한 정도에 따라 두어 뭉텅이로 나눠놓고 하나하나 다시 살펴본다. 조교에게 “혹시 자네 이것 필요한가” 물어 건네주기도 하고, 어떤 것은 휴지통 가까이 갔다가 구사일생으로 되돌아오기도 한다. 그러다가 가끔 의외의 수확에 쾌재를 부를 때도 없지 않다.

그런데 당장 버리기 아까워 여기저기 꾸겨 넣었다가 나중에 책상부터 서가, 연구실 바닥까지 잡동사니 천국을 만들기 일쑤다. 그렇게 되면 산더미처럼 쌓인 별 쓸모없는 자료의 숲, 그 미로 속에서 제대로 된 것 하나를 찾아내려면 온갖 고생과 시간낭비를 해야 한다. 결국 이들 자료들 대부분은 내손 한번 닿지 않은 채 몇 년 만에 한번 하는 연구실 총정리 때 한몫에 버려지는 운명에 처하게 된다. 그래서 자료를 고르면서 항상 스스로에게 되뇌던 말이 “버리자, 과감히 버리자”다

돌이켜보면 젊은 나이에는 일에 대한 욕심 때문에 이것저것 많이 챙겼던 것 같다. 그러다가 정년 가까워지면서 보다 많은 것을 제법 과감히, 그리고 별 망설임 없이 버렸던 기억이다. 적은 것을 더 채우려고 애쓰는 것보다 크게 버려 스스로를 비우는 것이 더 슬기롭다는 것을 몸소 체득했기 때문이다.

나이가 들면서 확실히 버릴 것이 많아진다. 여년이 길지 않으니 일을 더 벌리기 보다는 줄여야 하고, 거기에 맞춰 욕심도, 집착도 버려야 하기 때문이다. 훨훨 털고 한껏 비워 삶을 더 단순하게, 그리고 소박하게 만드는 것이 노년의 자연철학이 아닐까 한다. 거기에는 순리대로 사는 인생의 아름다움이 있다

같은 맥락에서 볼 때, 나이가 들어가면서 가장 먼저 버려야 할 것이 노욕이 아닌가 한다. 노인이 <제 일>을 찾아 그 일을 열심히, 보람 있게 하는 것은 노욕이 아니다. 문제는 온갖 세속에 대한 늙은이의 헛된 욕심과 추한 집착이다. 그것은 스스로를 욕되게 하고 주위를 어지럽게 만든다. 때문에 노년의 아름다움은 노욕에서 벗어나서 자신을 온전히 비우는 데서 찾아야 한다고 본다.


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  1. cheap nfl jerseys 2012.10.17 12:21 Address Modify/Delete Reply

    어느정도 무감각해진답니다~

이곳 속초/고성에 와 살기 시작한지 이제 3년이 가까워 온다. 아무 연고도 없던 곳이라 처음에는 이곳 사정에 어두웠고 실제로 지역사회에 대한 세세한 관심도 별로 없었다. 그러다 보니 이곳 자연에 취해 산과 바다, 호수와 계곡을 자주 찾았지만 이곳 주민들의 생활세계와는 얼마간 거리를 두며 살았다.

‘탈 서울’을 하면서 가능하면 서울과 중앙에 대한 관심은 줄이고 이곳의 일상에 충실하자고 다짐을 했는데도 부지불식간에 내 주된 관심은 여전히 서울 중심, 나라 전체에 가있었고 정작 내 구체적 삶이 펼쳐지는 이 지방과 이곳 주민들의 사는 모습에 대해서는 피상적인 관심밖에 없었다. 그래서 TV뉴스를 볼 때에도 전국 뉴스가 끝나고 지방 뉴스가 시작될 때면 으레 채널을 다른 데로 돌리곤 하였다. 몸만 여기 있지 마음은 그냥 서울에 머물고 있었던 셈이다.

그러다가 처음 한해를 넘기면서 내가 차츰 변화하고 있다는 것을 스스로 감지하게 되었다. 이곳 사람들의 삶의 터전인 바다농사가 잘 안되면 그 걱정을 하게 되고, 피서철 관광객이 많이 몰리는 주말에 비가 올라치면 한숨이 절로 나오게 되었다. 피폐한 지역경제를 실감하면서 아내에게 이제 이마트에 그만가고 재래시장과 양양 5일장을 가자고 종용하게 된 것이나, 어쩌다 서울에 가면 가까운 이들에게 속초/고성 자랑에 열을 올리는 것도 그런 변화의 모습이었다. 아내는 오래된 <강원도 짝사랑>이 발동했다며, 자칭 <속초/고성 홍보대사>라고 놀린다.

무엇보다 TV 뉴스를 보면서 이제는 전국 뉴스를 대충 듣고, 이곳 지방 뉴스에 더 관심을 기울이게 된다. 서울과 중앙, 전국은 점차 멀리 느껴지고 그에 대한 관심도 엷어졌다. 그러면서 이곳, 이 지역의 구체적 삶의 세계에 차츰 빠져 들어가고 있는 자신을 느낀다. 그런데 이런 것이 전혀 애써 노력하지 않은 채, 또 스스로 의식하지 않는 사이 자연스레 이루어지는 게 얼마간 신기하고 흥미롭다. 아니 스스로 놀랄 때도 없지 않다.

의식의 <지방화>가 진행되면서 걱정도 함께 는다. 요즈음 내 심기를 가장 불편하게 하는 것은  이곳 고성의 가장 큰 자랑인 명품 소나무들이 끊임없이 바깥으로 반출되고 있는 것이다. 각종 명목으로 허가를 맡아 합법적으로 소나무 반출을 진행하는 모양인데, 식목의 달이라는 지난 4월 이후 내 집 앞 먼 길로 줄지어 실어 나른 아름드리 소나무만 해도 수백 그루는 족히 될 것이다. 소나무를 무리로 패간 뻘건 산등성이는 을씨년스럽게 그대로 방치되어 있는데 장마철은 이미 시작되었으니 걱정이 안 될 수 없다.

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 정년퇴직을 하기 훨씬 전부터 마음으로 정년을 준비하고 있었다. 그래서 ‘정년을 하면’, 이러 저러하게 살겠다는 상상을 많이 했다. 그런데 그럴 때면 언제나 ‘서울을 떠나자’라는 생각이 마치 강박관념처럼 내 마음속에 도사리고 있었다. 정년을 하면, 세상 번잡을 피해 보다 단순하게 살고 싶고, 내키는 일만 하고 싶고, 자연에 더 가까이 다가가고 싶은데 그 모든 것이 서울을 떠나야 이룰 수 있을 것 같았기 때문이다. 그래서 ‘탈()서울’을 지상과제처럼 생각했다. 다행히 아내도 동의했다.  


 그렇다면 어디로 갈까. 그래도 서울에서 멀리 달아나야지. 실은 아무도 잡는 사람이 없는데 멀리 도망갈 생각부터 했다. 서귀포가 어떨까. 남해도 좋던데, 이런 저런 궁리 끝에 강원도 속초로 정했다. 전혀 연고가 없지만 눈여겨보아 둔 곳이다. 그래서 작년 2월 대학을 정년하자마자 이곳으로 내려 왔고, 벌써 여기 온지 1년을 훌쩍 넘겼다.  


 이곳에서 스스로 가장 대견하게 생각하는 것은, 아직 온전치는 않으나 내가 점차 내 생활에 주인이 되고 있다는 점이다. 돌이켜 보면, 서울에서 나는 언제나 사회적 약속의 연쇄 속에서 허덕이며 살았고, 항상 스케줄에 쫓기고, 데드라인에 목매였다. 체면 때문에, 남과 척지지 않으려고 하기 싫은 일도 해야 했다. 따지고 보면, 내가 내 삶의 주인인 적이 그리 많지 않았다. 그런데 요즈음 나는 여기서 비교적 내가 하고 싶은 일, 마음에 내키는 일을 내 의지대로 즐겨서 하고 산다. 알량한 체면이나, 하찮은 명예는 상관할 필요가 없고, 뿌리치기 어려운 연고의 늪에서도 꽤 해방된 느낌이다. 내 시간은 내가 직접 요리한다. 게다가 여기서 내 유일한 취미인 산행이 언제라도 가능하니 그런 것이 좋다. 서울에 산다면 이 모든 것이 가능했을까.  


 지인(知人)들이 내게 흔히 던지는 질문은 외롭지 않느냐는 것이다. 밤낮 그 산, 그 바다를 보면 지루하지 않느냐고 묻기도 한다. 그런데 이곳에서 나는 거의 외로움을 느끼지 않고 잘 지낸다. 현대인들은 명동 한가운데서도 외롭지 않느냐고 반문할 수도 있지만, 그런 실존적인 얘기가 아니다. 우선 이곳의 일상이 그런대로 바쁘다. 그간 하고 싶은데 못했던 일이 그리 많을 줄 몰랐다. 주변에 가고 싶은 산행 코스만 해도 끝이 없고, 알량한 전공 공부에 쫓겨 못 읽고 밀어 두었던 역사책, 철학책, 소설과 시들도 그리 많을 줄 몰랐다. 어쭙잖은 사색하기, 음악듣기, 자신과 대화하기도 바쁘다. 올해부터는 조금씩 텃밭을 가꾸려 한다. 더 바빠질 것이다. 그래서 이곳 생활이 외로움을 반추할 정도로 한가하지 않다. 또 가끔 밀려오는 약간의 외로움은 아련한 향수를 자아내기 때문에 얼마간 감미롭기도 하다. 그런데 바빠도 전혀 쫓기는 기분이 없다. 그리고 산과 바다는 전혀 지루하지 않다. 특히 산은 계절 따라, 아니 시시각각으로, 또 보는 곳과 각도에 따라 변화무쌍하게 바뀐다. 천의 모습을 연출하는 자연의 신비 속에 빨려 들어가면 쉽게 자신을 잃고 거기에 동화된다.  


 어쩔 수 없이 서울을 가끔 간다. 그런데 서울을 가도 가능하면 일만 보고 그냥 돌아오려고 애쓴다. 마치 자칫하면, 다시 옛날로 돌아갈 것 같아서 괜히 불안하다. 서울의 분답(紛沓) 속에서 다시 나 자신을 잃으면, 그 때는 다시 이 작은 나만의 행복한 시간으로 영영 되돌아올 수 없을 것 같아서 말이다.    

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  다산은 이 땅의 모든 사회과학자들에게 가장 많은 영감을 불어넣는 큰 스승이다. 여기가  긴 유배시절, 처절한 개인적 아픔 속에서도 나라의 앞날과 민생을 걱정했던 바로 그 역사의 현장이다.

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    해당 URL을 다른 사람에게 알려주면 누구나

1. 전인 교육

* P.T, Nasr: 학생 자신의 긍정적 자아상(self-image)를 심어주는 것이다-긍정적이며, 건강하고, 높은, 그러면서도 현실적인 자아상은 성공의 주요한 열쇠이다....교사의 역할은 i) 발견자(discoverer)가 되는 것, ii) 촉진자(facilitator)가 되는 것, iii)방향제시자(director)가 되는 것, iv) 상담자(counselor)가 되는 것이다.

* N. Nadings: 학교 교육은 배려(care)의 관점에서 다시 태어나야 한다..교육의 주요 목적은 능력있고, 배려하고, 사랑하고 사랑스러운 사람을 길러내는 것이다....모든 학생은 자신, 이웃, 인류, 식물, 동물, 환경, 인간이 만든 세상과 사상들을 배려할 수 있도록 인도해주는 일반 교육을 받아야 한다. 이것은 지적 발달이나 학문적 성취를 위한 기초를 제공한다.

* 사토 마사부: 학생들 간에 ‘케어(배움과 돌봄)의 공동체’를 구성하고, 교사들 간에

‘실천을 담은 담론 커뮤니티(discourse community)'를 만들자

* A. Adler: 인간은 유전과 환경을 기초로 하여, 자신의 삶을 독특하게 이루어 나가는 ‘창조적 자아’(creative self)이다....아이들을 바르게 양육하기 위한 이상적인 에토스는 ‘공동체감’(Gemeinschaftsgefuel, community feeling, social interest)인데, 이는 타고난 것이지만, 단지 잠재적이기 때문에 사회적 맥락 속에서 계발되어야 한다.

* V. Frankl: 삶을 위한 주된 동기는 어떤 상황에서도 삶의 의미를 찾으려는 우리들의 의지이다.....사람들로 하여금 자신들의 ‘건강한 핵심자원’(resources of their healthy core)를 의식하도록 돕고, 아울러 그들로 하여금 그 자원을 사용하도록 도와주는 것이다.

* <핀란드의 교실혁명>(후꾸다 세이찌): 개인차와 적성에 따라 즐겁게 공부할 수 있게-통합학급을 구성하지만, 수업은 개별화한다....교사는 아이가 공부가 준비가 되어 있을 때까지 재촉하거나 욱박지르지 않고 같이 참여하도록 여유를 둔다...“잘못하는 아이를 끌어가긴 하지만 잘하는 아이들은 그냥 둡니다. 왜냐하면 잘 하니까요.” 자율적으로 배우도록 키우면 아이들은 교사나 어른을 뛰어넘어 뻗어간다.

* 안병영: ‘ 5.31 교육개혁의 목적은 창의적이며, 인간다운 인간을 만드는 일’이다...교육소외는 인간의 잠재능력을 사장(死藏)시킨다. 교육소외에서 비롯되는 교육손실은 개인의 삶의 질을 저하시킬 뿐만 아니라 교육체계의 효율성과 정당성에 손상을 입힌다...교육복지는 “소극적으로 교육소외의 극복이고, 적극적으로 교육본질의 회복이다.”...교육은 모든 학습자의 발전잠재력을 최대한으로 신장하도록 돕는 것이다.

2. 세계변화와 미래교육

2.1. 세계화

-<지구촌화>, 시장주의의 확산과 글로벌 경쟁의 첨예화-경쟁교육 크게 부각

-경쟁력 제고 위해, 인적 자원개발/교육에 대한 투자 필수- 핵심적 생존전략이자 미래 투자...<하나뿐인 지구>의 지속/발전 위해 자원, 환경, 식량 등 인간실존의 여러 영역에서 <공존>과 <협력> 요구...<글로벌 관점>(global perspective)의 일상화

2.2. 지식, 정보화

-산업사회 급속히 퇴조, 지식사회/정보사회로의 전환 가속화- 탈공업화, 경제의 서비스 화, 소프트 화

-지식 근로자 중심의 노동/고용 구조-고숙련/고지식에 대한 편향적 수요 증대-창의력과 전문능력 개발 필수-다기능(multi-skilling)이 큰 흐름

-‘지속적 고용능력’ (sustainable employability) 키워야-전 생애주기에 걸친 지속적 능력개발-‘일과 학습’의 병행/ 평생학습-학습네트워크 구축해야 -이러닝의 중요성 크게 부각-<개별화 방식의 교육>(tailor-made individualized pathways)의 학습 중요.

2.3. 저출산 고령화 사회화

-2018년 고령사회(aged society) 진입/2020년 정점으로 총인구 감소-학령인구 급감, 생산중심인력 중년층으로 이동, 다문화사회화--- ‘시한폭판’

-인적 자원 확보, 개발, 활용 필수-노인, 여성, 장애자, 이민자-인적 자원의 일탈, 유실 최대한으로 막아야 -능력있는 다수, 혁신적/창의적 소수

2,4, 우리 교육의 빛과 그림자

2.4.1. 문제점/ 장애요인

-과도한 입시경쟁/과도한 교육열과 결합하여 엄청난 사교육비 무게-가계 압박-조기유학, ‘기러기 아빠’, 저출산의 주요 요인-인성교육, 창의성 교육 뒷전으로, 학교를 <창살없는 감옥으로>--대학서열화, 학벌위주 사회/학력 세습화, 가난의 대물림

-직업교육 및 평생교육체제 부실

-대학교육의 문제점-그간 양적 성장에 주력, 적절한 질 관리와 지속적 투자에 소홀 /산업게 수요 제대로 수용 못해->고등교육의 국제경쟁력 상대적으로 낮아

2.4.2. 강점/잠재력

-지난 30년간 이룩한 경이적인 산업화와 민주화의 원동력

-교육을 중시하는 사회문화 풍토, 높은 교육열

-높은 수준의 학력-PISA와 TIMSS에서 발군의 성적-세계 최정상의 교육정보화 수준과 상대적으로 우수한 교원

2.4.3. 비교 논의/개혁 방향

-전인교육 강화 절실, 수월성과 형평성의 조화 필요

-직업교육, 평생교육 혁신 필요

-빗나간 교육열, 왜곡된 교육관, 학력위주의 교육, 학벌주의, 이념갈등 지양되어야

3. 전인교육 지향의 교육정책

3,1, ‘사회투자국가’ 적 접근 (social investment state approach)

-1997년 집권한 영국의 토니 블레어 정부가 ‘제3의 길’을 천명한 후, 2000년 이후 유럽 각국 및 유럽연합 차원으로 확산되는 사회, 교육정책의 새로운 흐름

-이들이 표방하는 ‘제3의 길’은 신자유주의가 추구하는 경제적 효율 및 생산성과 전후 사회민주의적 복지국가가 지향하는 평등 및 사회정의를 결합하는 접근으로, 기존의 급여와 권리에 초점을 둔 재분배적이고, 소비적인 사회복지를 넘어 인적 자원에 대한 적극적 투자를 통해 인간의 참여능력의 향상과 사회적 결속을 제고하는 방향으로의 전이를 뜻한다.

-사회투자론의 핵심적 입장은 경제화 사회의 통합적 인식 내지 성장과 복지의 선순환 구조이며, 그러한 의미에서 성장과 복지의 조화를 추구한다.

-이 접근은 결과의 평등 소득의 재분배로부터 기회의 평등 내지 ‘생애기회의 평등’으로의 전이를 추구하며, 따라서 ‘기회’ 및 ‘능력’의 분배 및 재분배에 초점을 둔다.

여기서 강조하는 ‘기회’는 불확실한 사회에 적응하기 위한 ‘기회의 평등’(가능성의 재분배)이며, ‘능력’은 저숙련이나 저지식과 같은 지식기반사회의 새로운 사회적 위험들을 극복할 수 있는 능력이다. 그런 의미에서 고전적 복지국가가 추구했던 완전고용 보다 ‘지속가능한 고용가능성’을 우선한다.

-사회투자접근의 핵심인 인적자원 개발의 기본적인 지향은 전통적 학령기 교육의 틀을 넘어 유아로부터 고령에 이르는 생애주기에 걸친 교육과 훈련의 기회를 제공하는 것이며, 따라서 주요 정책으로 영유아의 공공보육, 초.중등 교육, 고등교육기회의 확대 및 질적 제고, 적극적 노동시장정책을 통한 직업훈련 기회의 강화 및 평생학습체제의 구축이다.

-사회투자적 접근은 사적 예방적 투자(preventive investment)를 강조하는데, 그 중요한 고리는 ‘미래의 시민’인 아동들에 대한 투자이다. 이는 교육적 투자가 실효성을 거두기 위해서는 개개인의 학습능력과 일에 대한 호의적 태도 등 인간의 기초능력이 형성되는 아동기 인지능력 발달기에 이들에 대한 보살핌과 교육이 긴요하며, 이를 위해 예방적, 적극적 투자를 해야 한다는 입장이다. 따라서 사회적 취약가정, 특히 빈곤가정, 한부모가정 및 교육수준이 낮은 부모를 둔 아이들에 대한 보육 및 교육적 배려가 중시된다.

-그 대표적 프로그램이 영국의 ‘Sure Start'인데, 지역별로 아동센터를 마련하고 지역도서관, 병원, 학교가 네트워크를 구성해 보육과 건강관리, 그리고 독서습관을 키워주는 프로그램이다. 우리나라의 교육복지투자우선지역, 방과후학교 및 교육안전망 사업 등도 같은 맥락에서 추진된다고 볼 수 있다.

-이 접근은 ‘고용가능성’을 중시한다. 따라서 교육체제 및 교육과정의 ‘투자적’ 효율성에 대해 정책적 관심을 기울이며, 적정수준의 시장경쟁 원리를 도입하는 문제에 대해서도 개방적인 입장을 보인다. 학부모와 학생의 선택권을 확대하고, 공급자(학교, 교사) 간 경쟁을 강화하는 일이 그 예이다.

-사회투자적 접근은 경제적 생산성과 사회정의 실천의 조화를 추구하기 때문에 기존의 사회민주주의적 복지국가보다 투자의 생산성을 고려하는 것은 사실이나, 그 원천적 복지 및 정의실현 의지 때문에 보편적 교육투자와 더불어 사회적, 교육적 취약자에 대한 정책적 배려에 큰 힘을 쏟는다. 따라서 이들 소외계층 및 집단에 대한 교육기회 확대 및 교육복지 서비스를 위한 정책과제들이 주요한 부분을 구성한다. 우리의 경우, 두 번에 걸쳐(1996/12 및 2004/9) 작성된 교육복지종합대책도 이러한 관점에서 마련된 것이다.

-이 관점은 인적 자원에 대한 투자를 단순히 인간의 물적 요인(전문적, 기술적 능력)에 대한 경제적 투자로 협의적으로 이해하지 않는다. 따라서 인적 자원의 개념을 단순한 인적자본을 넘어 사회자본, 문화자본의 의미를 포함하는 통합적 역량으로 해석한다. 따라서 교육복지정책도 그와 유관한 다양한 사회복지정책, 인적자원정책 및 노동시장정책과 연관하여 통합적으로 이해한다.

3.2. 전인교육 지향의 교육정책의 몇 가지 예

3.2.1. 대안교육

대안학교는 제도권 교육의 한계를 극복하는 새로운 교육대안으로 부상하고 있는데, 대체로 i) 작은 공동체를 추구하며, 협동, 상생, 돌봄, 사랑, 나뭄, 파트너십을 강조한다. 또한 긴밀한 소통과 적극적 참여를 표방한다 ii) 전인적 인간을 강조하고 인성교육에 역점을 둔다 iii) 자연친화적이다 iv) 일과 능이, 일과 학습의 일체화를 추구하며, 체험학습과 노작교육을 강조한다 v) 개성과 창의성을 중시하며, 자생력과 실험정신, 맞춤형 교육과 자기 주도적 학습을 강조한다. 제도권 교육과 대안교육 간의 접점찾기를 계속할 경우 우리 교육의 내용은 더욱 풍요로워 질 것이다.

3.2.2. 학교 내. 외, 교과간 소통의 활성화

-최근 건국 후 60년 이상 이어져 오는 고등학교의 인문-자연 계열 분리교육을 재고해야 한다는 주장이 활발해 지고 있다. 그러나 이러한 문-이과 구분 교육은 바야흐로 ‘통섭의 시대’에 지적 분절을 가져오고, 각 교과별 소통 부재와 정보를 차단하여 통합적 지식과 인격을 형성하는 것을 저해한다.

-이러한 통합교육 지향은 통섭적 과목의 증대 혹은 학교 밖의 역사박물관이나 과학박물관의 방문을 통하여 활성화될 수 있다.

3.2.3. 이러닝의 활용

-학습은 <언제, 어디서나> 이루어져야 하며, 개방적 학습접근이 보편화되면서, on, off line을 연계할 이러닝의 중요성 부각되고 있다. 그러한 가운데, 우리 사회에서 계층, 집단 간에 나타나는 정보화격차(digital divide)는 학습자의 총체적인 학습능력의 차이를 가져 올수 있다. 이러한 맥락에서 2004년 4월 1일에 실시된 “EBS 수능강의 및 인터넷 서비스”는 사교육비 경감과 아울러 교육기회의 평등화를 위해 크게 기여할 수 있다. "사이버 가정학습‘의 활성화도 같은 맥락에서 이해될 수 있다. 그러나 앞으로 전인교육 차원의 컨텐츠 개발이 절실히 요구되며, 정보화에 따른 폐해도 적지 않아 이와 함께 인터넷 윤리교육도 함께 병행되어야 할 것이다.

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전환기의 사색

삶의 단상 2010. 4. 3. 17:24 |

성숙의 불꽃  2008.1.18

정권변동을 앞두고 변화의 물살이 매우 거칠고 세차다. 시장, 경쟁, 자율이 시대정신으로 대두되면서 이른바 <잃어버린 10년>의 역사가 통렬한 비판의 대상이 되고, 그와 연관된 주요 사회가치들이 크게 폄하되고 있다. 지난 10년간의 좌편향의 역사가 그랬듯이, 새로운 역사의 반전(反轉)도 급격히, 또 다분히 이념적으로 진행되고 있다. 역사는 되풀이 되는가.

  인수위의 조직개편 작업에서 특히 큰 변화가 예고되는 부문이 교육이다. 처음에는 아예 교육부 해체론까지 등장했었다. 지금도 교육부의 ‘교육’ 기능은 대폭 축소하고, 초중등 교육은 시도 교육청에, 대학교육은 대교협 등 자율기관에 이양 또는 위임하겠다는 기조는 그대로 이어갈듯 하다. 이러한 엄청난 변화가 모두 자율과 분권의 명분아래 진행되고 있다.

  자율은 실로 아름다운 말이고 시민민주주의의 기본철학이다. 그러나 그것은 ‘빛과 그림자’를 함께 함축한다. 문제는 자율이 아무런 준비 없이 졸속으로  추진될 때 자칫 엄청난 혼란과 파국을 동반할 수 있다는 사실이다. 가까운 예를 들어 보자. 1990년대 중반 김영삼 정부는 <세계화>를 크게 외치면서 무분별한 경제자유화와 금융규제완화를 단행했고, 이는 금융위기를 유도, 마침내 치욕적인 IMF 구제금융시대를 열었다. 따지고 보면, 외환위기는 자율적이며 합리적인 시장의 작동기제가 제도화되지 않은 상태에서 오랫동안 경제를 감독하고 규제해 오던 <발전국가>의 역할을 급격히 무장해제 시켜 버린 데서 비롯된 것이었다. 무릇 자율이 성공하기 위해서는 그에 합당한 제도적 하부구조가 마련되고 권한을 위양 받는 자의 능력과 책임의식이 수반되어야 한다. 이러한 전제가 성립되지 않고 결행되는 급격한 역사의 반전은 실패를 자초하게 된다.

  여기서 우리는 자율과 분권의 이름으로 새로이 부상하는 시도 교육청과 대교협이 교육이라는 전국민적, 역사적 과제를 책임 있게 수행할 수 있는 능력과 책임의식을 갖추고, 공공성과 사회적 형평을 고르게 고려하기에 손색이 없는 존재인가, 또 현재 그들이 제대로 기능할 만한 제반 사회경제적, 제도적 조건이 마련되어 있는가, 깊이 고민하고 진지하게 따져 보지 않으면 안 된다.

  여기서 우리는 최악의 시나리오도 함께 생각해 보아야 한다. 만약 자율화의 기수가 될 시도교육청이 입시교육 경쟁에 <올인>하고, 대교협이 대학(그것도 몇몇 상위권 대학)의 이기적 욕구를 채우는데 급급하게 되면, 사교육비, 양극화의 문제, 그리고 무엇보다 공교육 정상화의 문제는 어떻게 될 것인가. 게다가 교육부마저 무력화 된다면 공교육에 대한 국가적 책무는 어디서 구할 것인가.    
  변혁의 시대일수록 생각을 가다듬어 시대정신이라는 신기루에 현혹되기 보다는 역사의 현장의 살아있는 실제를 직시하고, 긴 호흡으로 먼 역사에 대한 사회적 책임을 통감하지 않으면 안 된다. 전환기에 깊은 사색과 고뇌를 요구하는 것도 그 때문이다.

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