S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.42 No.1/2 (2013)
Learning from an Environmental Pollution Event and Policy Change: Focused on the Saemangeum Reclamation Project in Korea
- Lee, Hye-Kyung
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.42 No.2, pp. 191-211
- Focusing event; Policy learning; Saemangeum reclamation project; Environmental policy process
- An earlier version of the manuscript was presented at the UT-SNU Joint Sociological Forum 2012 held at University of Tokyo, Japan, November 23-24, 2012.
- This study, using the Event-Related Policy Change Model, analyzes the Saemangeum reclamation project in Korea, which has been the cause of significant social debate for around 10 years. In the policy process of the Saemangeum reclamation project, the severe water pollution event at Lake Shihwa acted as a focusing event which would attract civil society’s interest in the environmentally adverse effects of the project. The perception of tidal flats was changed in society, and a system of protecting and managing tidal flats rather than reclaiming them was made through the discussion process. The finding of this study is that it is to a different extent for the policy-making participants to react to a focusing event, and to learn from a preceding event. In the Saemangeum reclamation policy, environmental groups reacted to the focusing event more sensitively than other policy participants, and were motivated to engage in active discussion. As a result, they could have a decisive effect on governmental policy and civil society.