S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) Journal of International and Area Studies Journal of International and Area Studies vol.24 (2017)
Historical Development of Civil Society in Korea since 1987
- Kim, Sunhyuk; Jeong, Jong-Ho
- Issue Date
- Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
- Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.24 No.2, pp. 1-14
- In this paper, we provide a historical overview of the development of Korea’s civil society since its transition to democracy in 1987. After a theoretical review of civil society focused on the comparison between the East and the West, we analyze seven governments of Korea since the democratic transition in 1987 in terms of the change in civil society and its engagement with the state, underscoring the continued role of civil society in democratic consolidation and deepening. Then, we discuss some prominent characteristics of Korean civil society in the post-transitional period, such as the diversification of the modes of state-civil society relationship, politicization and ideological polarization of civil society, “political societization” of civil society, the widened gap between central and local civil societies, and financial dependency of civil society on the state. We conclude the paper with a few important cautions against excessive political societization of civil society and the resultant depopulation and potential delegitimation of the civil society arena.
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