Korean Democracy in TransitionA Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies

Korean Democracy in TransitionA Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies

HeeMin Kim

Print publication date: 2011

ISBN: 9780813129945

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

Abstract

As Asian countries emerge as global economic powers, many undergo fundamental political transformations. This book evaluates the past thirty years of political change in South Korea, including the decision of the authoritarian government to open up the political process in 1987 and the presidential impeachment of 2004. The book uses rational choice theory—which holds that individuals choose to act in ways that they think will give them the most benefit for the least cost—to explain events central to South Korea's democratization process. The book's theoretical and quantitative analysis provides a context for South Korea's remarkable transformation and offers predictions of what the future may hold for developing nations undergoing similar transitions. Combining theoretical perspectives with a policy-relevant discussion, this study sheds new light on the Korean model of democratization and makes a significant contribution to the field of comparative politics.