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Conceptualizing Korean constitutionalism : Foreign transplant or indigenous tradition?

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  • Conceptualizing Korean constitutionalism
  • Hahm, Chaihark
  • Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)


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Title Conceptualizing Korean constitutionalism
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Foreign transplant or indigenous tradition?

Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Hahm, Chaihark

Publisher

[Seoul]:Seoul National University(BK 21 Law)

Date 2001
Journal Title; Vol./Issue Journal of Korean Law:vol. 1(no. 2)
Pages 46
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < Laws and Legislation
Holding Seoul National University

Abstract

The premise of this article is that a nation’ constitutional norms must ultimately be supported by its cultural values and political tradition. Although this is one of the basic precepts of constitutional theory, in the case of Korea, the demand for modernization has generally caused Koreans to reject, if not despise, their cultural traditions. By interpreting the political discourse of pre-modern Korea (Chosn) as a form of constitutional discourse, this article attempts to provide a corrective to this situation. It first argues that our conception of constitutionalism must be modified to incorporate non-Western/pre-modern political norms and discursive practices which made it possible to discipline whoever held political power. Next, it shows what the sources of such constitutional norms were in Korea, and in the process, it clarifies the structure of pre-modern East Asian law codes. It then goes on to elucidate the constitutional principles which Chosn bureaucrats and politicians regarded as binding and which they could invoke to discipline their rulers.