Biting Back Against Civil Society: Information Technologies and Media Regulations in South Korea

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Min, Byoung Won
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Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.20 No.1, pp. 111-124
GovernmentCivil SocietySouth KoreaLee Myung-bakRegulationsInformation and Communication Technology
The former Lee Myung-bak government in South Korea had been biased toward the logic of efficiency rather than toward the logic of publicity in its information and telecommunications policy. It

has kept the Korea Communications Commission (KCC) as a government-backed, powerful regulatory

body in response to the trend of convergence between media and communication technologies, even

though many scholars have warned that they could not find any constitutional foundations for

establishing the KCC. Moreover, the Korean National Assembly, dominated by the conservative Grand

National Party, has revised several new media laws in order to lift the cross-ownership ban on

newspapers and TV stations. Both cases tell us that the Korean government de-regulated media

industries for efficiency and competitiveness, while re-regulating a civil society that has expanded so

much to threaten the governments authority despite criticisms that it would hamper policy publicity

and the diversification of broadcasting industries. The paper introduces these cases of regulation

politics in the Lee government in South Korea and discusses its implications about political relationship between government and civil society equipped with information and communications technologies.
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area Studies (JIAS)Journal of International and Area Studies vol.20 (2013)
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