Postauthoritarian Transformation in the Republic of Korea: Background, Mechanisms, Consequences

338
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-10-103-113

A. Fedorovsky (a.fedorovsk@imemo.ru),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation;
K. Voda (vodakris@gmail.com),
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow 117997, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article reviews the modernization of the social and political system, state economic management and foreign policy strategy in postauthoritarian South Korea. It looks at the factors that contributed to the success of the South Korean democratic transition, including the strengthening of the legislative branch and the empowerment of the National Assembly, political liberalization, increment in activity of the civil society and non-governmental organizations, as well as emergence of new forms of an Internet-driven political participation of South Korean citizens and youth. Although the number of political parties in South Korea that absorbed the interests of various social groups greatly increased in the postauthoritarian era, the majority of political forces are predominantly elitist and are formed on a regional basis. Those parties proved unable to control the President and top executives thus undermining the credibility of the government. The article also explores the evolution of relations between the government and big business, arising from administrative and economic reforms. Although the South Korean government undertook notable steps toward market openness and liberalization, which significantly enhanced transparency and reduced overall state intervention in the economy, it could not eliminate the top-level corruption that triggered the political crisis in 2016-2017. Finally, the article explores the impact of the democratic transformation in South Korea on its foreign policy strategy, including relations with major foreign counterparts as well as South Korea– North Korea dialogue. The growing demand of the South Korean society for a more independent global posture leads to modification of foreign policy which stays loyal to the military and political alliance with the United States while taking steps to diversify political and economic ties

Keywords: Republic of Korea, democratization, fight against corruption, political crisis, foreign policy strategy 


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For citation:
Fedorovsky A., Voda K. Postauthoritarian Transformation in the Republic of Korea: Background, Mechanisms, Consequences. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2018, vol. 62, no. 10, pp. 103-113. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2018-62-10-103-113



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