S-Space Graduate School of Public Administration (행정대학원) Dept. of Public Administration (행정학과) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) Korean Journal of Policy Studies (정책논총) vol.32 no.1-3 (2017)
The Ceiling Strategy as Policy: Limiting Bureaucratic Expansion and Democratization
- Choi, Hyemin; Jeong, Jisu
- Issue Date
- Korean Journal of Policy Studies, Vol.32 No.1 pp. 175-198
- It is commonly recognized that the transition to democracy in Korea was associated with economic progress. However, not many scholars have given attention to the role of bureaucracy during the process of democratization, due to the fact that bureaucracy is usually thought of as belonging to politics, not democracy. As a refutation of this general view, first, this paper argues that bureaucracy has been an important contributor to political modernization. Since the post-1945 period, the ceiling strategy, which limits the total number of civil servants, was introduced into the personnel management method and system of checks and balances to limit undue political influence over staffing and to control bureaucratic expansion. Second, through this strategy as policy, the bureaucracy legitimately tried to avoid undemocratic political power by the standardized process and allow the coordination. The ceiling policy is originally the product of historical context during colonial and authoritarian period, but the bureaucracy utilizes it as the instrument to reduce corruption. The contribution of this paper is provoking the new insights about democratization from bureaucrats perspective which is rarely highlighted.