The Good Society Debate In South Korea

Henning Meyer

Henning Meyer

I have been on the road for a bit more than a week now and together with my colleague and friend Christian Kellermann, I have been discussing our work on the concept of the Good Society and Decent Capitalism (basically the political economy of the Good Society) in South Korea. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung organised a truly great programme (a big thank you to Christoph Pohlmann, the local FES Director!) and we got to talk to academics, think tankers, activists, politicians and gave interviews to major newspapers and magazines.

Even though there is no social democratic tradition in South Korea, the lesson after a packed week full of meetings is that our value-driven approach to the renewal of social democracy can also connect and inspire progressive discourses elsewhere in the world. It again became clear that the Good Society is a very valuable framework for thinking more comprehensively and strategically about the big problems of our time from a social democratic or progressive point of view.


A meeting organised by the the Korean Welfare State Society…


Talking to staffers and think tankers at the headquarters of the Democratic Party.

Why do we travel all the way to East Asia to talk about the Good Society? The simple answer is that many of today’s pressing issues are global and require the ability of addressing them not just in a European context but also in global alliances (and many local problems are actually quite similar too..). South Korea was the first non-European country we visited and a great start to the global discussion about the Good Society.

We have now moved on to Japan. Stay tuned for more from Tokyo soon…