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Modern state formation and land management in South Korea: 1945–1960

Park, Jung-Ho, Han, Man-Hee
Land use policy 2018 v.78 pp. 662-671
land management, land reform, politics, society, South Korea, United States
Land management is one of the important elements of state formation. State formation is influenced by politics, economy, society, and international relations, and land management also seems to be affected by these factors. In particular, international relations could affect not only state formation but also land management in states that have been independent from other states, like Korea. In this regard, this study reviews the relationship between state formation and land management, and analyzes how land reform influenced the formation of the modern state in South Korea between 1945 and 1960. Conceptually, land management can be linked with ancient as well as modern state formation in terms of politics, economy, society, and international relations. In South Korea, land management was associated with modern state formation mainly in terms of international relations under the U.S. military government (1945–1948) and politics under the first South Korean government (1948–1960). The change of relationships between land management and state formation tends to be in line with national context and international situations. There are differences in the role of land management in ancient and modern states from the four perspectives mentioned, which seems to lead into land reform in the process of modern state formation.