Circulating Ideas of Policy and Legal Decisions Processes in Korea and Germany
Edited By Eun-Jeung Lee and Hannes B. Mosler
(1) Transfer of Knowledge as a Matter of Translation
Abstract This chapter deals with the introductory, yet fundamental, topic of transfer of knowledge as a matter of translation in the context of unification policies in Germany and Korea by discussing the exchange of knowledge and ideas on German unification between Korean and German politicians, scientists, and (other) policy actors.
Whenever “unification” is discussed in Korea, German unification and its potential lessons for Korea are bound to be mentioned. Almost equally inevitably, however, it will be argued that the situations of both countries are too different for the German experience to be able to provide Korea with any guidance. All research on German unification eventually runs into this wall. But is it really true that there is no such thing as a successful transfer of policy between two countries with different traditions, institutions, and cultures?
In reality, intercultural policy transfers have occurred quite often in human history. Furthermore, in some cases at least, they have been rather successful. Confucius taught that one can learn even from a stone from another mountain, which means not only that one can learn from others, but also that one should actively strive to do so. It is possible to learn from experiences of all sorts, failures included. If this is true, then what are the necessary conditions for intercultural policy transfer to be successful? Is there a “golden rule” for policy transfer?
For my part, I will attempt to explain intercultural policy...
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