Korean Democracy in Transition: A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies

Korean Democracy in Transition: A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies

by HeeMin Kim


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Korean Democracy in Transition: A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies by HeeMin Kim

As Asian countries emerge as global economic powers, many undergo fundamental political transformations. In Korean Democracy in Transition: A Rational Blueprint for Developing Societies, HeeMin Kim 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.

Kim 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. Kim'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.

Although there are studies in the field of Korean politics that provide an overview of this important period, there are none that offer the theoretical and analytical rigor of this study. Combining theoretical perspectives with policy-relevant discussion, Korean Democracy in Transition sheds new light on the Korean model of democratization and makes a significant contribution to the field of comparative politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813129945
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Publication date: 06/15/2011
Series: Asia in the New Millennium Series
Pages: 146
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

HeeMin Kim, professor of political science at Florida State University and professor of social studies education at Seoul National University in Korea, has served as president of the Association for Korean Political Studies and received the Korean Presidential Decoration for outstanding contributions to Korean communities in the United States. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations viii

Acknowledgments ix

Abbreviations x

1 Rational Choice, Area Expertise, and Democratic Transition in Developing Societies: A Theoretical Framework 1

2 Kims' Dilemma and the Politics of Rivalry: An Analysis of the Democratic Opening and the 1987 Presidential Election 5

3 Building a New Party System: The 1990 Party Merger 25

4 A Theory of Government-Driven Democratization: The Kim Young-sam Years 41

5 Party Preferences and Institutional Choices: A Search for a New Electoral System 53

6 Uncertainty in Foreign Policy Making: Changing Relations among South Korea, North Korea, and the United States of America in the Twenty-First Century 71

7 A Risky Game to Play: The Politics of the Impeachment Game in 2004 87

8 Concluding Remarks 101

Appendix A Solution for the Equilibrium of the South-North Bayesian Game 107

Appendix B Solution for the Equilibrium of the U.S.-North Korea Bayesian Game 109

Notes 113

Bibliography 123

Index 131

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