Top-down democracy in South Korea /  Erik Mobrand.

  • Mobrand, Erik Johan,1981-author.
  • Seattle :University of Washington Press,[2019]
  • xii, 201 pages ;23 cm.
  • Korean studies of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies.
  • "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"--
  • (ISBN)9780295745497
  • (ISBN)0295745495
  • (ISBN)9780295745473
  • (ISBN)0295745479
  • (OCoLC)1057752523
  • Democracy -- Korea (South)
  • Democratization -- Korea (South)
  • Political parties -- Korea (South)
  • Democracy.
  • Democratization.
  • Political parties.
  • Politics and government.
  • Korea (South) -- Politics and government.
  • Korea (South)