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South Korea’s Top-Down Democracy
February 19, 2019 - 10:15-12:00
While popular movements in South Korea rightly grab the headlines for forcing political change and holding leaders to account, those movements are only part of the story of the construction and practice of democracy. The elite-led design and management of electoral and party institutions form another part. More often than not, South Korea’s rulers have responded to freer and fairer elections by entrenching rather than abandoning exclusionary practices and forms of party organization – even as they appropriate symbols and slogans of bottom-up resistance. These practices point to subtle ways that democratic accountability can be undermined. South Korea’s experience suggests that we should think about democratization not as the establishment of an entirely new system, but as the subtle blending of new formal rules with earlier authority structures, political institutions, and legitimizing norms.
Date and time: 19 February 2019, 10.15 – 12:00
Organizer: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies
Venue: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Sölvegatan 18 B, Room 005, Lund, Sweden