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Top-down democracy in South Korea

Author: Erik Johan Mobrand
Publisher: Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2019]
Series: Korean studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Top-Down Democracy documents how free and fair elections in South Korea, a country widely heralded as a successful new democracy, have failed to force political parties to reorganize their elitist structures. This finding contradicts political scientists' expectation that free elections lead directly to mass mobilizing forms of politics which constrain elite power. Drawing on Korean-language sources, this study  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Mobrand, Erik Johan, 1981-
Top-down democracy in South Korea.
Seattle : University of Washington Press, [2019]
(DLC) 2018046901
Material Type: Document, Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Erik Johan Mobrand
ISBN: 0295745487 9780295745480
OCLC Number: 1088604086
Description: 1 online resource (xii, 201 pages)
Contents: The 1963 system --
De-authoritarianization --
Practicing top-down democracy --
The participatory moment --
Backlash --
Rethinking democratization.
Series Title: Korean studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.
Responsibility: Erik Mobrand.

Abstract:

"Top-Down Democracy documents how free and fair elections in South Korea, a country widely heralded as a successful new democracy, have failed to force political parties to reorganize their elitist structures. This finding contradicts political scientists' expectation that free elections lead directly to mass mobilizing forms of politics which constrain elite power. Drawing on Korean-language sources, this study shows how party elites have built techniques for insulating themselves from electoral vulnerability. It takes the reader through South Korea's political development from 1945 through the demise of dictatorship in the 1980s and into the first two decades of democracy. This narrative shows that earlier patterns of creating political order generated long-term impediments to achieving highly competitive electoral politics. South Korea democratized, but it did not become the sort of democracy we usually imagine. The Korean story is important for anyone seeking to understand democratization and democracy promotion around the world. Scholarship and public discussion on democratization place excessive emphasis on the establishment of democratic institutions. How those institutions operate can vary tremendously and can contain deep imprints of earlier political patterns, even when the institutions meet the standard criteria for a democracy. The themes in this book are important and timely in a world where democratic institutions are celebrated and widely promoted but their consequences are inadequately understood. Top-Down Democracy will appeal to readers interested in modern Korean and East Asian history, political science, and democratization"--

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This finding contradicts political scientists\' expectation that free elections lead directly to mass mobilizing forms of politics which constrain elite power. Drawing on Korean-language sources, this study shows how party elites have built techniques for insulating themselves from electoral vulnerability. It takes the reader through South Korea\'s political development from 1945 through the demise of dictatorship in the 1980s and into the first two decades of democracy. This narrative shows that earlier patterns of creating political order generated long-term impediments to achieving highly competitive electoral politics. South Korea democratized, but it did not become the sort of democracy we usually imagine. The Korean story is important for anyone seeking to understand democratization and democracy promotion around the world. Scholarship and public discussion on democratization place excessive emphasis on the establishment of democratic institutions. 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