Geopolitics, post-politics, and the environmental politics of the US military in South Korea

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentationResearch


The place where US military bases are located is a ‘borderland’ that US global hegemony, state power, and everyday life entangle. US military bases have accumulated comprehensive environmental injustice in their places while demilitarising and remilitarising depending on a terrain of changing global political economy and accordingly a military relocation plan. Despite having faced significant friction around environmental injustices, the US military has maintained its strong presence in the name of national security. The borderland of the US military remains the site of contentious environmental politics in our contemporary world. This study aims to suggest a fresh framework and research agenda for a better understanding of the US military’s environmental politics. In this study, I suggest a conceptual framework, the ‘security as a post-political condition’, at the intersection of geopolitics, post-politics and environmental politics. By exemplifying the Yongsan Garrison, South Korea, which has become a main site of environmental conflict in the process of demilitarisation for a few decades, this study seeks to suggest three research agendas as follows: (1) to investigate the US basing agreements, special acts and enforcement ordinances in the name of the US-South Korea alliance; (2) the political space around the environmental injustice of the US military; and (3) the dynamic landscapes of environmental politics at the Yongsan Garrison. Overall, how the environmental injustice of the US military has been addressed at global, national, and local scales can be a theoretically significant question for research on the environmental politics of the US military.
Period12 Dec 202315 Dec 2023
Held atEast Asian Regional Conference in Alternative Geography (EARCAG-GPE), Hong Kong
Degree of RecognitionRegional