Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy, and the State

By Charles K. Armstrong | Go to book overview

4


Civil society and democratization

Sunhyuk Kim

Introduction

Analysts of Korean politics have tended to present two different, and to some extent conflicting, interpretations regarding what really caused South Korea's recent democratization since 1987. According to one popular interpretation, it was primarily - if not entirely - due to a series of elite calculations and interactions. 1 The focus of this interpretation is June 29, 1987 on which the chairman of the ruling Democratic Justice Party, Roh Tae Woo, made his eight-point proposal on democratic reform - the “June 29 Declaration.” It is still disputable if there existed a real split between the “hardliners” and the “softliners” within the ruling elite. 2 Nevertheless, according to this interpretation, ruling elites predicted that the opposition would be fragmented, and this is why they agreed to adopt a set of democratic reforms including a change to a direct presidential election system.

The other interpretation, which I support and develop in this chapter, puts emphasis on mass mobilization by civil society groups. The central event, according to this interpretation, is not Roh Tae Woo's June 29 declaration but a series of nationwide anti-government protest demonstrations from approximately June 10 to June 29, 1987 - the “June Popular Uprising.” This approach in essence argues that what was crucial for the democratic transition in South Korea in 1987 was the formation of a pro-democracy coalition and an unprecedented level of mass mobilization, which eventually pressured the ruling authoritarian regime to accommodate popular demand for democratic reform. 3

These two different interpretations of South Korean democratization closely mirror the two dominant paradigms in the existing literature on democratic transition and consolidation. On the one hand, there is an elite-centered paradigm, emphasizing elite strategies and interactions. According to this paradigm, “elite dispositions, calculations, and pacts … largely determine whether or not an opening will occur at all.” 4 On the other hand, there is a mass-centered paradigm, accentuating mass mobilization and civil society. 5 According to this paradigm, the choices that civil society groups and mass publics make induce elites to move towards democracy. In general,

-92-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Korean Society: Civil Society, Democracy, and the State
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 214

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.