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Government and Law Political Science

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Presidential instability in a developing country : Reassessing South Korean politics from a state-society relations perspective

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  • Presidential instability in a developing country
  • Kim,Kyung-hwa
  • Syracuse University


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Title Presidential instability in a developing country
Similar Titles
Sub Title

Reassessing South Korean politics from a state-society relations perspective

Material Type Reports
Author(English)

Kim,Kyung-hwa

Publisher

[New York],[U.S.] : Syracuse University

Date 2017-01
Pages 225
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Link
Subject Government and Law < Political Development
Government and Law < Political Science
Holding Syracuse University
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Abstract

This study attempts to explain why ALL of South Korean presidents, without exception and notwithstanding their individual major contributions to the process of Korea’s development, have fallen victim to disgraceful downfalls.
For the analysis, I employ S.N. Sangmpam’s middle-range theory that establishes a causal link between society-rooted politics and political outcomes. Building on his analytical frameworks that non-Western countries are characterized by over-politicization in politics as a function of social context, I argue that patterned downfalls of all Korean presidents are an institutional outcome of over-politicization in Korean politics, which is itself a function of not fully entrenched capitalist society. In support of my thesis, I test three hypotheses. Hypotheses one and two posit Korea’s tenacious traditional and cultural traits as an internal modifier of capitalism and the nation’s dependent nature of its relationships with the United States and Japan as an external factor that prevented capitalist entrenchment in Korean society. The combined effect of these two variables is the alteration of capitalism in South Korea that defies the three cardinal rules of democracy, leading to over-politicized behaviors in presidential politics.