▲ Dr. Gero Kellermann giving his speech on the final day of the international conference on public education&constitutional lawprovided by Park, Seong Gwan
The 2016 International Conference “Politische Bildung und Verfassung (Civil Education and Constitution)” was held in Korea University (KU) from October 4 to October 6. The conference, which was co-organized by KU, the Constitutional Academic & Professional Association, and the Konrad-Adenauer foundation of Germany, provided a forum in which participants could debate about how democracy has been altered by populism in Korea and Germany and the role of public education in recovering it.
Intense debates on particular topics were involved during the whole conference. On the first day, the participants discussed about the constitutional law as both the basis and limitations of public education. Michael Hund, former associate director of Berlin’s constitutional court and Professor Kim Seon Taek (School of Law) both gave presentations related to the subject. The participants then exchanged their personal views on the discussed matters.
The second day’s topic was about the current state of public education in Korea and Germany. Dr. Jens Huttmann of the Federal Foundation of Clearing the Past and Dr. Gero Kellermann of the Political Education Academy introduced the history, current state, and prospect of Germany’s public education. In return, Dr Hong Seok No of KU’s Political Party Law Research Center and Professor Oh Jeong Rok (Department of Public Administration) depictured South Korea’s condition in the aspects of public and lifelong education.
Analysis about populism and its relation to democracy closed the remarkable conference with a final, but heated, debate. In the morning session Dr. Gero Kellermann and Dr. Yun Jeong In (Department of law) questioned whether populism was deceiving people in the name of democracy and exchanged their opinions about what populism is. The afternoon session was continued by Dr. Jens Huttmann and Professor Park Zin Wan’s (Department of Law) observation about the relation between populism and democracy.
The conference gave opportunities for the participants, from both Germany and Korea, to judge the current state of democracy and decide the course of public education. “The sharp questions of KU students, which perfectly pierced the essence of the debate, seemed to marvel the German experts,” said Professor Yun Jeong In (Department of Law).