S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.35 No.1/2 (2006)
Civil Society in Political Democratization : Social Movement Impacts and Institutional Politics
- Suh, Doo Won
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.35 No.2, pp. 173-195
- The end of long‐.standing authoritarianism in the late twentieth century provoked a global resurgence of civil society in the Third World that has driven scholars increasingly to ask how revitalized social movements impact democratic progress. Despite daunting theoretical and methodological problems in studying movement outcomes, and disparate historical and social conditions producing diverse, contending views of movement effects, this article confirms that institutionalization of movements is a major, though not sole, mechanism for consolidating and advancing democracy. It provides an institutional route to influence state policy making and allows movement groups to forge political alliances with reformist power elites within polity. Movement institutionalization requires a particular melding of movement organization characteristics and favorable political opportunities that vary widely by time and context. It promotes democracy as long as the social movement organization maintains its identity and autonomy vis‐.à‐.vis state power, the state is open, and democratic parties enjoy influence within government. This article ascertains the assets and liabilities of previous research on the causal relationship between social movements and political democratization and suggests possibilities for future research, but acknowledges that great theoretical, methodological, and empirical challenges remain.
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