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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Local Self-Governance and the Citizens’ Movement

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2006, v.46 no.2, pp.129-154

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Abstract

Against the historic backdrop of sixteen years practice of electing a mayor and local council, and the resultant heightened politicization of local public administration, this paper intends to introduce perspectives to explain the citizens movement, examine the characteristics of the local citizens movement in comparison to its national counterpart, and analyze the governing structure and characteristics of local communities.This paper first focuses on the underlying structure of local commu-nity. In order to activate the citizens movement, it is natural to emphasize the task of transforming the personalized into associational mobilizations based on civic interests. Secondly, the segmented structure of the local community leads to hostile antagonism among different political groups. Communal factors and a segmented social structure hinder democratic institutionalization, while official procedures appear to be overwhelmed by the influence of the personal ties. In Koreas democracy, the citizens movement has been retarded atthe local level, due to segmented communication, social relations that foster a selfish worldview, constraints on participation, and the limitations of institutional decentralization, i.e. power-sharing. This paper has attempted to examine the structural contradictions of the local citizens movement and present solutions to the problem.

keywords
local self-governance citizens’ movement personalized mobilization (yeon-go dongwon) growth alliance

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