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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. ...
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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.
... The first was his selection of Cabinet Ministers from his close associates based on his Alma Mater and church and from a wealthy area. During the National Assembly's approval process, a number of the candidates were accused of a variety of improprieties such as real estate speculation and tax evasion, and a few of them were subsequently withdrawn, forcing the President to apologise (Moon, 2009; Han, 2009). This incident alienated a large proportion of Korean citizens, who labelled Lee's Cabinet as being made up of only the wealthy and land-owning class of Korean society (Kihl, 2009). ...
... 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 ...
... ions to the contrary that might have existed, the government's mistakes have resulted in a series of urgent rolling crises, which can only detract from responsible long-term policy. Jang (2008) argues that the above lack of credibility is due to 'the shortsightedness and rash comportment of a president who cannot see even six months in the future'. Han (2009) also argues that all of Lee's initial policy proposals such as making changes to English education, privatisation of utilities including the water company, the grand canal project, deregulating public schools, and seeking to control broadcasters, were 'short-sighted' and all attracted significant opposition. The fourriver project is als ...
This paper assesses the impacts of the political system on economic development in Korea over the last four decades with a focus on the Lee Myung-bak government. A set of assessment criteria have been developed including: the establishment of proper institutions to minimise transaction costs, secure property rights and promote competition; and the implementation of national economic policy with encompassing interests, decisiveness, consistency, credibility, and a long-term orientation. Compared with the authoritarian regimes, none of the Kim Young-sam, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moohyun governments was successful in meeting these criteria due to a lack of democratic leadership, the low level of democratic consolidation and an immature civil society. The Lee Myung-bak government has also exposed a lack of democratic leadership. A number of election pledges have been abandoned and controversial projects have been introduced, thereby damaging policy decisiveness, consistency, credibility and the quality of encompassing interests. All this indicates that the political system is important for economic development - not a matter of ceteris paribus. Yes Yes
... Korean public resentment during 2002-2003 was targeted specifically towards the Bush Administration, whereas the protests in 2008 were directed strictly towards the Lee Myung-Bak Administration (Han, 2009;Lee, 2010;Lee, 2012;W. Kim, 2009). ...
... 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. ...
Most of the literature on the 2002 candlelight vigils in South Korea (Korea) has ascribed the cause of the anti-Americanism of these protests to domestic factors. Authors predicted that any change in United States policy on Korea would not substantially improve the two countries' strained alliance because the fundamental problem was rooted in Korea's domestic transformation and subsequent shifts in perspective towards North Korea. However, South Korea has once again become one of the world's most pro-American countries. This study claims that South Korea's domestic transformation is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition to give rise to anti-American protest and thus anti-American sentiment is merely latent in the South Korean public consciousness and will not manifest itself unless it is ill-managed. A comprehensive analytical model is presented to predict the rise and decline of anti-American protest, incorporating period as well as generational effect. The model depicts the dynamic process of mass demonstrations in which cognitive basis and emotional incidents interact.
... 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). ...
... 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). ...
Agenda setting is one of the most recognized communication theories. This thematic analysis aims to provide an overview of agenda-setting publications in China and Korea. Results indicated that the output of agenda-setting research was impressive in both countries. Korean studies mirrored U.S. studies in terms of topical focus, but research in China narrowly concentrated on social issues. Chinese agenda-setting research was typically a-theoretical and lacking in methodological diversity, while such problems were less acute in Korean studies. More studies have moved on to the Internet and social media in both countries. Implications are discussed and new directions for future research are suggested.
... President Roh overcame these disadvantages by using the Internet. His online campaigning strengthened civic mobilization based on the younger generations' attention and support (Han, 2009;Lee, 2009). As a result, the victory of President Roh provided positive feedback concerning the Internet and the role it can play with regard to political success. ...
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This study examines whether the network characteristics represented on the Internet drive or reflect other events and occurrences in the offline environment. More specifically, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between the web visibility network of Korea’s National Assembly members and the amount of financial donations they receive from the public. The results of the linear correlation analysis indicate a positive direction, suggesting that politicians who occupy a central position in the web visibility network are more likely to receive financial donations than those occupying a peripheral position. The quadratic assignment procedure (QAP) correlation results revealed a significant correlation between politicians’ web visibility network and their political finance network. This study identifies the structural relationship between Korean politicians’ online and offline networks.
... In more general terms, speculations are brought forward either on the coming of a " modern global direct democracy " as a result of technology diffusion (Walton, 2007) or, in contrast, on a new elitist shift in which existing political trends are exacerbated, and citizens fail to be engaged (Davis, 2010). Positive democratic effects are seen as a result of 1) ICT transforming citizens as co-producers of value, rather than passive consumers (Berthon & Williams, 2007; Han, 2009 ), especially with the emergence of ICT-enabled spontaneous citizen mobilization (Suárez, 2006 ), or 2) the reshaping of the role of traditional intermediaries between citizens and decision makers in contemporary democratic systems (Edwards, 2006). A mixed picture emerges in assessing the democratic impact of e-government initiatives in a one-party regime setting, in which the creation of a digital space for increased transparency and citizen feedback is inevitably intertwined with the government's agenda of enhancing its legitimacy and containing political dissent (Jiang & Xu, 2009). ...
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This dissertation explores the historical trajectory for South Korea’s rising food import dependence and this import dependence lead to a perception of a food security crisis that required an overseas agricultural strategy in the aftermath of the food price crisis in 2007-08? In answering this research question the dissertation challenges a central assumption in much media, policy, and scholarly analysis of the global food price crisis of 2007-8 (and the subsequent period): that the crisis necessarily represented a “food security” crisis for food import-dependent states, and that those states would naturally respond to that crisis by investing in overseas agricultural production. This narrative and these assumptions have played a key role in much of the academic literature on the “global land grab” that has emerged since 2010. This thesis, however, demonstrates both that those connections are not in fact automatic ones, and that in South Korea in particular have emerged out of a specific agro-historical trajectory. The dissertation pays particular attention to the rise of beef production and consumption and how the meatification of diets and agriculture has impacted food import dependence as well as how Hanwoo beef has become a symbol of nationalism.
Despite the rising scientific and practical relevance of e-participation, the field still suffers from a diffuse, heterogeneous state of knowledge and our understanding of successful e-participation strategies and implementation is very limited. This situation is seen as a key reason why e-participation initiatives in practice often fall short of expectations. Against this background, this study compiles the existing insights from the interdisciplinary scientific literature to deduce a unifying definition and propose an integrated strategic e-participation framework that conceptually combines important strategic and organizational factors as well as environmental drivers of e-participation.
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In this interdisciplinary study of governance, Hyuk-Rae Kim traces how civil society and NGOs have evolved over time, how they differ in motivation form their Western counterparts, and the role civil society NGOs have played in consolidating democracy as the governance system in South Korea changes form state-centric to a contested one. This book presents civil society's rise in Korea through in-depth analyses of today's most pressing issues, in order to chart the shifting role of a formerly state-centric to a contested governance system in modern Korea. With detailed case studies and policy discussions, this book explores the role of NGOs in campaigning for political reform and the eradication of political corruption; the provision of public goods and services; challenging the government's policies on migration; tackling the issue of North Korean refugees and human rights; and the provision of regional environmental governance. These case studies demonstrate that the state is no longer the sole guardian and provider of public institutions and goods and underline the growing role of civil society in Korea. Both a study of contested governance and an exploration of contemporary Korean society, this book will be of particular interest to students and scholars alike of Korean politics, East Asian politics, governance, and civil society.
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Economists, sociologists, and politicians thought that the era of “the dark ages” and political theology that declined in popularity in the West since the 16th century would not be repeated. They thought that the amount of corruption, and deterioration of economic and social conditions that occurred in that era, taught everyone not to link political questions with values ones. In the light of Arab spring revolution; as they try to shift from an authoritarian to democratic regimes, Egypt today has proven them completely wrong. The paper’s target is to answer the following questions; will revolution carry a redistributive political action and fulfil people’s objectives or will it end with depressing effects on growth which hinder the country’s development process? Why are some countries able to formulate democratic regime, and achieve economic development and growth while others’ attempts have been futile? What are vital political settings for these calls to attain a progressive development and growth path? The paper will explore the lessons that can be adopted from South Korea’s move to democracy in the late 1970s and try to implement these lessons in the countries that search for democratic processes. Finally the paper concludes with analysis that having a democratic system does not always grantee a boost to economic growth, but good governance does.
Theoretical developments on the temporalities of social movements have been grounded in both long-term and mid-term perspectives. This focus has obscured the processes of short-term mobilizations, leaving it unclear whether the established models explain the micro-dynamics of short-term protests. Considering the important effects short-term protests have on political processes, it is crucial to analyze how they develop in interaction with their external environment every day. This article seeks to address this research lacuna by extending the current perspectives into short-term protests. It tests whether the daily fluctuations of political and cultural contexts shaped the anti-U.S. beef protests in South Korea in 2008, with a temporal span of 121 days. The findings emphasize the importance of political and discursive opportunities for protests to develop: While state repression as well as state actors’ dissonant/incoherent statements spurred protests, third-party actors’ dissonant/incoherent opinions in the conservative media led to a decline in protests.
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Previous research based on Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) suggests that an organization’s past crises history affects the reputational threat posed by a current crisis when that crisis results from intentional acts by the organization. The study reported on in this article provides a wider test of crisis history to better assess its role in crisis communication. Results from the present investigation showed that a history of similar crises intensified the reputational threat of a current crisis even when the crisis arose from the victimization of the organization or from an accident, rather than from the organization’s intentional acts. The threat to reputation was primarily direct, rather than indirect, through perceived responsibility for the crisis. There was little difference in the perceptions of organizations identified as having had no history of past similar crises versus those for whom no information about past crises was provided. Perception of an organization’s responsibility was negatively correlated with the perceived impact on reputation. Implications for the practice of crisis communication and further development of SCCT are discussed.
This article presents an approach to the study of the consequences of social movements that focuses on their capacity to produce "social capital." By social capital I mean ties that are based on mutual trust and mutual recognition among the actors involved in the relationship, although they do not necessarily imply the presence of collective identity. The influence of social movements may be regarded as dependent on their structural position, i.e., on the solidity of the linkages within the movement sector as well as—more crucially—of the bonds among movement actors, the social milieu in which they operate, and cultural and political elites. Therefore, the impact of a given movement or movement sector will be assessed in the light of changes in its components' relative centrality in various social networks. The broader the range of social capital ties emerging from a period of sustained mobilization, the greater the impact.
Conventional accounts of protest cycles posit a demonstration effect-successful protests incite other constituencies to activism. I offer an alternative theory that builds on population ecology models of organizational behavior. I argue that the expansion of social movement organizations, or organizational density, is also an essential component of protest cycles. Multivariate analyses of the effects of civil rights protest and organizational growth on feminist protest and organizational foundings between 1955 and 1985 demonstrate that organizational density promotes the diffusion of protest. Protest also engenders activism by others, but only under favorable political conditions. This implies that an enduring organizational niche and political allies in power are necessary for protest to spread beyond single movements and create protest opportunities for other challengers.
The internet is a powerful tool to change the process of pre-existing political movements. The influence of internet on political movement is analyzed through the case study of the 16th general ‘election defeat movement’ in Korea. The movement depended mostly on internet as a resource to mobilize. The purpose of this study is not to know the influence of the movement on the election result but to analyze the movement process with special reference to the Resource Mobilization Theory. The movement process is analyzed in terms of goal, organization, legitimacy, political opportunity, movement strategy, and leadership. The internet as a new form of movement tool plays a key role in gathering public opinion, spreading information, getting support and persuading critical issues. It relieves burdens like time and place resources which off-line movements have. The movement leaders were well trained to form a strong network and use composite strategies based on past NGO’s activities.
This article examines the nature of Crisis Management and Environmentalism. It shows that while different, they share a number of overlapping processes. As a result, the synergies between them can be taken advantage of in order to maximize their impact and minimize the costs of implementing separate stand-alone programs. Unless both are managed as system-wide activities, they cannot succeed. This article presents a systems framework for Crisis Management and applies it to the major environmental disaster at Bhopal.
This study shows the role of imitation in producing social protests. Resource mobilization theories tend to underestimate workers' need for information. The fact that conditions are right for striking needs to be communicated through news of other strikes. Thus strikes stimulate other strikes, net of objective bargaining conditions, unionization increases the rate of strike imitation, successful strikes generate more imitation than unsuccessful strikes, unionization changes the locus of strike imitation from strike beginnings to endings, and long average strike length changes the locus of imitation from endings to beginnings. These predictions are supported by evidence on Third Republic French coal mine strikes. -Authors
Today's young Koreans were brought up under an affluent and democratized society. Proud of their Korean nationality, they embrace ethnic nationalism in two dimensions: on the one hand, assertive nationalism to the world and toward the United States in particular, and on the other hand, inter-Korean nationalism with the people of North Korea. With no memories of war and less fear of the communist North, younger Koreans prefer peaceful coexistence with North Korea. Although they recognize the importance of the alliance relationship with the United States, they are sensitive to social problems in hosting U.S. forces. Domestically, they are pressing for reforms to make the nation a consolidated democracy. Nevertheless, the political activism of this vibrant generation is limited, driven by selective events. Its immediate interests are largely cultural and pragmatic.
Journal of Democracy 10.3 (1999) 3-17 In the summer of 1997, I was asked by a leading Japanese newspaper what I thought was the most important thing that had happened in the twentieth century. I found this to be an unusually thought-provoking question, since so many things of gravity have happened over the last hundred years. The European empires, especially the British and French ones that had so dominated the nineteenth century, came to an end. We witnessed two world wars. We saw the rise and fall of fascism and Nazism. The century witnessed the rise of communism, and its fall (as in the former Soviet bloc) or radical transformation (as in China). We also saw a shift from the economic dominance of the West to a new economic balance much more dominated by Japan and East and Southeast Asia. Even though that region is going through some financial and economic problems right now, this is not going to nullify the shift in the balance of the world economy that has occurred over many decades (in the case of Japan, through nearly the entire century). The past hundred years are not lacking in important events. Nevertheless, among the great variety of developments that have occurred in the twentieth century, I did not, ultimately, have any difficulty in choosing one as the preeminent development of the period: the rise of democracy. This is not to deny that other occurrences have also been important, but I would argue that in the distant future, when people look back at what happened in this century, they will find it difficult not to accord primacy to the emergence of democracy as the preeminently acceptable form of governance. The idea of democracy originated, of course, in ancient Greece, more than two millennia ago. Piecemeal efforts at democratization were attempted elsewhere as well, including in India. But it is really in ancient Greece that the idea of democracy took shape and was seriously put into practice (albeit on a limited scale), before it collapsed and was replaced by more authoritarian and asymmetric forms of government. There were no other kinds anywhere else. Thereafter, democracy as we know it took a long time to emerge. Its gradual -- and ultimately triumphant -- emergence as a working system of governance was bolstered by many developments, from the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215, to the French and the American Revolutions in the eighteenth century, to the widening of the franchise in Europe and North America in the nineteenth century. It was in the twentieth century, however, that the idea of democracy became established as the "normal" form of government to which any nation is entitled -- whether in Europe, America, Asia, or Africa. The idea of democracy as a universal commitment is quite new, and it is quintessentially a product of the twentieth century. The rebels who forced restraint on the king of England through the Magna Carta saw the need as an entirely local one. In contrast, the American fighters for independence and the revolutionaries in France contributed greatly to an understanding of the need for democracy as a general system. Yet the focus of their practical demands remained quite local -- confined, in effect, to the two sides of the North Atlantic, and founded on the special economic, social, and political history of the region. Throughout the nineteenth century, theorists of democracy found it quite natural to discuss whether one country or another was "fit for democracy." This thinking changed only in the twentieth century, with the recognition that the question itself was wrong: A country does not have to be deemed fit for democracy; rather, it has to become fit through democracy. This is indeed a momentous change, extending the potential reach of democracy to cover billions of people, with their varying histories and cultures and disparate levels of affluence. It was also in this century that people finally accepted that "franchise for all adults" must mean all--not just men but also women. When in January of this year I had the opportunity to meet Ruth Dreyfuss, the president of Switzerland and a woman of remarkable distinction, it gave me occasion to recollect that only...
Despite high expectations for how new networked information technologies (NNITs) could influence democratic outcomes, few studies have provided clear evidence that NNITs have changed political discourse or election outcomes. With this in mind, this paper examines how young, politically indifferent, Korean NNIT users involved themselves in mainstream Korean political discourse and became the linchpin in the election of President Roh Moo-hyun in 2002. In the information age, demonstration effects from NNIT-induced mobilizations can bring about dramatic changes in electoral politics. The Korean experience in 2002 suggests that while turnout declined among all generational groups in general, NNITs can play a decisive role in shaping the political cohesiveness and voting patterns of younger generational groups in electoral politics.
In the light of a critical account of Giddens’ three recent books on politics (1994, 1998, 2000) this paper argues that it is possible to formulate a third way, that is different both form the ad hoc mixture of neo-liberal and conventional social-democratic recipes found in the Blair/Schröder type of discourse, as well as from Giddens’ utopianism that is blind to political economy realities. This alternative version of the third way, guided by a non-economistic holistic framework should stress the continuous relevance of the Left-Right divide, ie, the continuities between early and late modernity and between the old and new emancipatory struggles against tyranny, exploitation and cultural/symbolic manipulation. It should also attempt to elaborate new reform proposals (in the area of the work, welfare, democracy, the life world) that take seriously into account the contradictions and present distribution of economic, political and cultural power, both on the national and the global level.
The article examines the implicit boundary narratives of both modernization theory and of its counter-discourses (neo-Malthusianism) and successors (globalism and reflexive modernization). Among the successors, special attention is given to the paradigm of reflexive modernization and its empirical corollary, the hypothesis of an emerging global agenda of “life politics”. After offering a matrix of basic theoretical responses to modernization theory, the paper locates the biodiversity crisis within current controversies about how to overcome the flaws of traditional modernization theory. It is suggested to trace the development of this policy area back to the early twentieth century and to reread it in the light of different societal and theoretical approaches toward modernization. In conclusion, it is argued that in order to enhance our analytical capabilities, the concept of life politics needs some critical injection from literatures more sensitive to notions such as spatiality, locatedness and the lived contexts of social groups.
In the wake of the cataclysmic changes that have transformed the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries since 1989, what can it mean to be politically radical today? In this conceptually powerful work, the author applies his well-known and influential body of ideas about modernity to the present state and future of radical politics.
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