This edited volume assesses the quality of democracy in the Republic of Korea three decades after its formal democratization in 1987. It has been argued that Korea's two subsequent power turnovers prove that its democracy has been successfully consolidated, despite its tremendous progress; however, recent developments show signs of deterioration and retreat. Therefore, drawing on the recent quality of democracy literature this volume sets out to answer the question: Where does Korea's democratic quality stand today? The three chapters in first section of the book focus on aspects related to the presidency, political parties, and organized labor, also including the perspective of governance and human security as well as on the rule of law regarding the role and function of the prosecution. This is followed by a set of four chapters in section two that address the dimensions of democratic quality such as participation, freedom, equality, and responsiveness. The final, third section includes contributions on related inter-Korean policy issues. This book is an invaluable resource for political and social scientist working on democratic quality, and at the same for scholars in Asian or Korean Studies at faculty level as well as on graduate student level.
Hannes B. Mosler is Assistant Professor for Korean Studies at the Graduate School of East Asian Studies and the Institute of Korean Studies of Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Dr Mosler's research field of Korean politics and society particularly focuses on the political system, political parties, decision processes, and constitutional questions.
Eun-Jeung Lee is Head of the Institute of Korean Studies at the Free University of Berlin, Germany. Her major research fields are the intercultural history of political ideas and of political culture.
Hak-Jae Kim is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Peace and Unification, Seoul National University, South Korea.
Chapter 1: Introduction: The Quality of Democracy in Korea Hannes B. Mosler, Eun-Jeung Lee, and Hak Jae Kim.- Chapter 2: Korean Democracy with a Hyper-Centralized State Jang-jip Choi.- Chapter 3: Human-centered Challenges to Korean Democracy Brendan Howe.- Chapter 4: Democratic quality and the rule of law in South Korea: The case of the prosecution Hannes B. Mosler.- Chapter 5: The Progress of Human Rights and Quality of Democracy in Korea Hyo-je Cho.- Chapter 6: Inequality and the Quality of Democracy in South Korea: Public Opinion and Electoral Politics, 1997-2012 Jin-Wook Shin.- Chapter 7: A Dualized Democracy? Labor Market, Welfare Policy and Political Representation of Korea Chapter Hak Jae Kim.- Chapter 8: Democracy without Workers: The 'Work Society' in Korea after Democratization Su-Dol Kang.- Chapter 9: Plus ça Change? South Korea's Democratization and the Politics of the Cold War Kevin Gray.- Chapter 10: Dealing with Unification - Politics of Fear Eun-Jeung Lee.- Chapter 11: Authoritarian Continuity or Democratic Change? Assessing the Democratic Quality of South Korea's North Korea Policy-Making Process Eric J. Ballbach.- Chapter 12: ConclusionHannes B. Mosler, Eun-Jeung Lee, and Hak Jae Kim.