The Impact of Immigration on Cold War Modernization Efforts: A Case Study of South Korea

Author #1

Abstract

This paper explores the intersection of American foreign and domestic policies during the Cold War. The United States sought to foster political and economic alliances in the developing world in the 1950s and 1960s by employing a new foreign policy initiative: modernization theory. Governmental officials and non-state actors carried out these policies in areas of the globe considered the most susceptible to communist influences because of cultural practices and economic realities. However, even while American policymakers sought to modernize political and economic systems, the nation’s own immigration policies may have worked against these efforts. This paper will explore the impact of U.S. immigration laws and policies in the postwar period (particularly the landmark 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act) on modernization programs in South Korea.

South Korea emerged from the Korean War as a political and regional ally to the United States. The Cold War context motivated the United States to invest in military advancements, the democratization of the nation’s educational system, and its transition toward a capitalist state. Absent in this narrative is an analysis by immigration and modernization scholars about whether American immigration policies implemented during the 1950s and 1960s affected the success of modernization programs in South Korea. This paper aims to uncover the relationship between these two Cold War policies by reviewing whether a new migration trend emerged for skilled professionals from South Korea and whether this impacted the success of modernization programs throughout the country.

 
Mar 2nd, 10:00 AM Mar 2nd, 10:15 AM

The Impact of Immigration on Cold War Modernization Efforts: A Case Study of South Korea

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

This paper explores the intersection of American foreign and domestic policies during the Cold War. The United States sought to foster political and economic alliances in the developing world in the 1950s and 1960s by employing a new foreign policy initiative: modernization theory. Governmental officials and non-state actors carried out these policies in areas of the globe considered the most susceptible to communist influences because of cultural practices and economic realities. However, even while American policymakers sought to modernize political and economic systems, the nation’s own immigration policies may have worked against these efforts. This paper will explore the impact of U.S. immigration laws and policies in the postwar period (particularly the landmark 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act) on modernization programs in South Korea.

South Korea emerged from the Korean War as a political and regional ally to the United States. The Cold War context motivated the United States to invest in military advancements, the democratization of the nation’s educational system, and its transition toward a capitalist state. Absent in this narrative is an analysis by immigration and modernization scholars about whether American immigration policies implemented during the 1950s and 1960s affected the success of modernization programs in South Korea. This paper aims to uncover the relationship between these two Cold War policies by reviewing whether a new migration trend emerged for skilled professionals from South Korea and whether this impacted the success of modernization programs throughout the country.