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Abstract

On 19 December 2007, President Lee was elected the seventeenth president of the Republic of Korea with the widest margin in Korea's presidential election history. Despite this enormous victory, it took little more than 100 days for Lee's early record-high popularity to plummet to the lowest rating of all Korean presidents with so few days in office. This article claims that the combination of Lee's early misguided policies and staffing decisions, along with a highly ‘wired’ young generation, has quickly produced anti-Lee discourse, which, in turn, has escalated into massive, continuing street protests by a large cross section of the population. Observing such an unprecedented phenomenon, this article addresses two important questions regarding politics in the information era: How do newly networked information technologies (NNITs) influence the political discourse and contribute to the evolution of a political crisis, and who are the most critical players in the NNITs-induced politics? By applying the concepts underlying Heinrich's law, Situational Crisis Communication Theory, and the theory on four stages of crisis evolution to the first question, and by invoking Giddens’ theory of ‘life politics’ in answering the second, this article examines the grave political consequences that NNITs-galvanised young generations can have on democracy.

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... Two months earlier on April 18, 2008, the Lee government made an announcement that it had reached an agreement with the United States on the resumption of US beef imports without any further inspection of beef. A ban on American beef imports was imposed in 2003 due to Mad Cow Disease cases found in the United States (Han, 2009;Moon, 2009). The decision to reopen the Korean market to American beef triggered the massive candlelight protest on June 10, 2008. ...
... Over time, as the protests gained legitimacy, participation by the older generation increased, indicating a strong resistance to the government among the entire population. As a result, more than 1.3 million Koreans signed the impeachment petition by July 2008 (Han, 2009). ...
... Another of Lee's proposed policies that received public resistance involved English education in Korea. Lee's transition team announced a policy to change the way English words, such as "orange" (Han, 2009;Moon, 2009), were written in Korean. He argued the changes would help the words mirror more closely the original English pronunciation, but had to abandon the policy related to English education because of strong opposition from the public. ...
Chapter
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Most crisis communication research in South Korea investigates the perspectives of organizations and audiences, such as how organizations respond to crises and how publics react to such crisis communication. Quantitative research methodology, especially experimental, is the most popular. Coombs’ work has most frequently been used as a theoretical framework, followed by Benoit's. Various samples including crisis managers and the general public are widely used in the research. Over time, corporations’ crisis preparedness level has increased across all industry types. While Korean companies employ silence, denial, and justification crisis communication strategies most often, Koreans prefer accommodative strategies such as apology and corrective actions to defensive strategies, regardless of crisis type.
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... the Lee government encounters strong internal and external veto points, leading to legislative deadlock. Despite the governing party holding a large majority in the legislature, it is factioned with a strong schism in terms of personality and policy. As examined earlier, Korea has a very strong and activist civil society and trade union movements. Han (2009) points out that the candle light vigils, organised by civil society groups, paralysed the Lee government for a few months. Hence, it is apprehensive about passing potentially unpopular laws without support from the opposing faction of the government party as well as opposition parties, as NGOs and labour unions could easily provoke anot ...
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... Korean generational trans-252 Kisuk Cho 12. Issues of race and the schoolgirls' deaths may be considered easy issues, but they are different in their longevity in that race issues may constitute a durable political feature, whereas the deaths of the girls is a transient issue. formation has resulted in a large young, active, and educated public, which is not only attentive to foreign policy issues but also actively involved in unconventional participation, such as protests and demonstrations (Han, 2009;Yoon et al., 2012). However, the generation effect is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to give rise to protest actions. ...
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... Also, the Internet as a political campaign tool in Korea first emerged during the 2002 Korean presidential election. Then former president Roh Moo-hyun swept to victory in the election (Han, 2009;Lim & Park, 2013;Watts, 2003) due to his successful use of online campaigning in 2002. Politicians, celebrities, and activists began to actively use the Internet to encourage voting in an effort to draw every possible ballot from the public (Chung, 2011). ...
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