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The Determinants of Divided Government in the United States: Implications for the Case of Korea

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Authors
Ryu, Jaesung
Issue Date
2005
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.28, pp. 277-305
Keywords
divided govermentpolicy balancing motivationelection cycle
Abstract
In the United States, the 1994 mid-term election spawned the Republican majority in the House of Representative under the Democratic control over the White House for the first time since the 1967. In the 1998 midterm election, for the first time since 1934 and only the second time in the twentieth century, the party controlling the White House actually gained seats in the House of Representatives. This paper addresses the question of what caused these unusual phenomena in the midterm elections. The paper tests (l) the previous competing explanations of the outcomes of the midterm elections such as surge and decline, presidential coattails, negative voting, and economic voting; and (2) the balancing motivation of inducing voters to cast the ballot for the moderation of policy outcomes by splitting control over the two branches of government. I demonstrate that in the US, the voter's motivation for moderating policy outcomes induces divided control over the executive and legislative branches of government. In Korea, voters have frequently chosen split control over the executive and legislative branches of government: The presidential party has failed to secure a majority of seats in the National Assembly in four out of five elections since the 1992 National Assembly election. And, the nominee from the minority party in the National Assembly has won the presidency two times out of three since the 1992 presidential election. Drawing on the findings in the US and the voting patterns in Korea, I suggest that divided government in Korea is a choice of the Korean voters, who have balancing motivations like the American voters in the mid-term election.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88589
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 28 (2005)
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