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

Vol.46 No.4

pp.9-32
초록보기
Abstract

This paper examines local governance and community power in Korea.It clarifies the following characteristics of local governance: the localgovernment has remained functionally and financially limited despiteits constitutional autonomy; the structure of local governance turns outto be largely fragmented and dispersed; local decisions are subject totight central control; local electoral politics is increasingly nationalized;the local chief executive does not share local governmental power withother local political actors; economic interests and social identities atthe local level are poorly organized and barely active; and local resi-dents remain politically passive and hardly empowered. On the basis ofthese findings, it concludes that community power remains in thehands of the local government, especially the local chief executive, sub-ject to central control and proposes that further local empowerment andcivic involvement is essential for improving the quality of democraticlocal governance in South Korea.

pp.33-61
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Abstract

The revival of local autonomy in the wake of democratization was con-ceived to signal a potentially successful decentralized democracy inKorea. However, in reality, almost half of all eligible voters have notvoted in local elections, indicating a lack of interest in local politics,and this has often been cited as evidence of an ongoing crisis in grass-roots democracy. It is also constantly pointed out that political partiesat the national level have been deeply involved in the local electoralprocess, and thus national politics have often overshadowed local elec-tions. This routine has raised concerns regarding the health of localpolitics.The purpose of this paper is to explain the characteristics of localKorean politics from 1995 to 2006 by focusing on voter participationand party involvements in local elections. This paper also analyzes theelectoral cleavages in voter turnout as well as party support. In addi-tion, the implications of these findings and current issues on autonomyin relation to local politics will be discussed.

pp.62-86
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Abstract

While politics in Seoul has made great strides in democratization overthe past two decades, scholars continue to deplore that local politicsand local governance in South Korea remain a far cry from democracy.This paper addresses the intriguing question of democratic lag inSouth Korea. It argues that one of the main sources/causes of slowdemocratization at the local level lies in the underdevelopment andlack of empowerment of local civil society. The paper first introducesthe concept of democratic lag to conceptualize asymmetric democrati-zation in South Korea. Next, it describes and assesses various theoreti-cal accounts explaining the absence of local democracy and highlightsan underdeveloped civil society as a cause. The paper then submits sev-eral vignettes of the reality of local politics. After explaining why suchunderdevelopment of civil society has resulted, the paper concludeswith a set of policy prescriptions for empowering local civil society andthereby resolving the problem of democratic lag in South Korea.

pp.87-114
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Abstract

Initially introduced as a political strategy in the process of democra-tization, decentralization policy became a new device for restructur-ing the Korean developmental state after the financial crisis of 1997.At first glance, aspects of decentralization policy appear to have fol-lowed the imperatives of the global shift towards neoliberalism,thereby resulting in gradual penetration of market mode of reformin formulating intergovernmental relations as well as in functioningof local governance. In reality, however, proofs contradicting regula-tion-theoretical predictions are numerous. The end result was not de-construction but re-construction of the Korean developmental state.Far from being hollowed out, the state actively mediated the nexusbetween globalization and local transformation. From this analysis,this essay concludes that for the enhancement of local democracymore emphasis should be put upon the activation of civil society tocounteract the anomalies of local autonomy committed both by localand central government.

pp.115-135
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Abstract

This paper deals with the academic dependency of Korean political science in light of Western-centrism. Contemporary Korean social sciences have been introduced and developed under the overwhelming influence of American political science since the liberation of Korea from Japanese colonial rule in 1945. This is also closely intertwined with Korea’s political, economic, social, and cultural dependency on the United States. Thus, using political science in Korea as an example, the author explores the negative impact of Western-centrism and the dependency of Korean academia on American political science. To do so, he analyzes the impact of American political science on Korean political science in three ways: “Westernization of critical thinking in Korean scholarship,” “assimilationist interpretation of the Korean experience according to Western theory,” and “marginalization of the Korean (non-Western) experience by Western-centrism.”

; pp.136-167
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Abstract

In the major elections of the 2000s, some civic groups of Korea experimented with cyberactivism, a new form of social movement. In the case of Korea, the elections of the 2000s were held amid a new structure characterized by the democratization and informatization that facilitated the big bang of civil society. The structure of political opportunities can function as a precondition or momentum that vitalizes social movements. A remarkable form of social movement that has emerged in the new structure of political opportunities is cyberactivism. Strategies of the civic groups that are based on the effective use of cyberspace are generat-ing great waves of transformation in the organization, goals, and effects of social movements. In particular, the cases analyzed in this study show that the political effects of cyberactivism greatly increase in electoral moments. Furthermore, the implications of cyberactivism will greatly affect our understanding of participatory democracy. It is from this perspective that the present study will carry out a comparative analysis of the characteristics of cyberactivism using the cases of CAGE (Citizens’ Alliance for the 2000 General Election) and Nosamo.

; ; pp.168-191
초록보기
Abstract

In the major elections of the 2000s, some civic groups of Korea experimented with cyberactivism, a new form of social movement. In the case of Korea, the elections of the 2000s were held amid a new structure characterized by the democratization and informatization that facilitated the big bang of civil society. The structure of political opportunities can function as a precondition or momentum that vitalizes social movements. A remarkable form of social movement that has emerged in the new structure of political opportunities is cyberactivism. Strategies of the civic groups that are based on the effective use of cyberspace are generat-ing great waves of transformation in the organization, goals, and effects of social movements. In particular, the cases analyzed in this study show that the political effects of cyberactivism greatly increase in electoral moments. Furthermore, the implications of cyberactivism will greatly affect our understanding of participatory democracy. It is from this perspective that the present study will carry out a comparative analysis of the characteristics of cyberactivism using the cases of CAGE (Citizens’ Alliance for the 2000 General Election) and Nosamo.

pp.192-222
초록보기
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct the career of the third king ofthe Joseon dynasty, Taejong, as a successful statesman. Studies of Tae-jong have mostly been conducted by academic historians, with a focuson political history and institutional history. As a result, two differentimages of Taejong have been produced: one that describes him as theembodiment of power and the other as a Confucian king. I proposethat these two contrasting images of Taejong reflect his distinctivenessas compared to other kings, and that neither image can exclude orabsorb the other. Hence, in order to explain this ambivalence in the twocharacterizations of the same person, I refocus the concept of embodi-ment of power as politics of tact and the concept of Confucian kingas gongnon politics by examining Taejong from a statesmans pointof view and attempting a structural analysis and historical periodiza-tion. Through this analysis, I attempt to reveal the dynamics of a suc-cessful leader, from the long process of Taejongs usurpation of powerto his creation of authority.

Korea Journal