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Democratization and Democracy in South Korea, 1960–Present

Publisher: , 2020
Link to online store *

This book analyses democratization and democracy in South Korea since 1960. The book starts with an analysis of the distinctive characteristics of bureaucratic authoritarianism and how democratic transition had been possible after inconclusive and protracted “tug of war” between authoritarian regime and democratic opposition. It then goes on to explore what the opportunities and constraints to the new democracy are to be a consolidated democracy, how new democracy had changed the industrial relations in the post-transition period, how premodern political culture such as Confucian patrimonialism and familism had obstructed democratic consolidation, and the improvement of quality of democracy. The author compares empirically, from the perspective of a comparative political scientist, political regime superiority of democracy over authoritarianism with regard to economic development. He concludes that “democratic incompetence” theory has been proven wrong and, in South Korea, democracy has performed better than authoritarian regimes in terms of economic growth with equity, employment, distribution of income, trade balance, and inflation.

This book will benefit political scientists, development economists, labor economists, religious sociologists, military sociologists, and historians focusing on East Asian history.

Hyug Baeg Im is a professor emeritus at Korea University and a chaired professor at GIST. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, USA. He served as an EC member of IPSA and received ROK National Academy of Sciences Prize. Prof. Im’s recent publications includeThe Possibility of Peace in the Korean Peninsula (2017) and Mongering North Korean Democracy for Inter-Korean Peace (2015).


  • Introduction: My Democratization Studies in Retrospect

Authoritarianism and Democratic Transition

  • The Rise of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism in South Korea
  • Recasting Park Chung Hee’s Authoritarianism: Myths, Reality and Legacies
  • Politics of Democratic Transition from Authoritarian Rule in South Korea
  • Christian Churches and Democratization in South Korea

Democratic Consolidation and After

  • Democratic Consolidation in South Korea: Opportunities and Constraints
  • From Affiliation to Association: The Challenge of Democratic Consolidation in Korean Industrial Relations
  • Faltering Democratic Consolidation in South Korea: Democracy at the End of the Three Kims Era
  • Development and Change of Korean Democracy Since the Democratic Transition of 1987: The Three Kims’ Politics and After

Toward a Quality Democracy in South Korea

  • Democratic Development and Authoritarian Development Compared
  • Better Democracy, Better Economic Growth? South Korea

Source: publisher’s website

Entry on here.

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