South Korean Social Movements: From Democracy to Civil Society, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

South Korean Social Movements

From Democracy to Civil Society, 1st Edition

Edited by Gi-Wook Shin, Paul Y Chang


320 pages | 21 B/W Illus.

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This book explores the evolution of social movements in South Korea by focusing on how they have become institutionalized and diffused in the democratic period. The contributors explore the transformation of Korean social movements from the democracy campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s to the rise of civil society struggles after 1987. South Korea was ruled by successive authoritarian regimes from 1948 to 1987 when the government decided to re-establish direct presidential elections. The book contends that the transition to a democratic government was motivated, in part, by the pressure from social movement groups that fought the state to bring about such democracy. After the transition, however, the movement groups found themselves in a qualitatively different political context which in turn galvanized the evolution of the social movement sector.

Including an impressive array of case studies ranging from the women's movement, to environmental NGOs, and from cultural production to law, the contributors to this book enrich our understanding of the democratization process in Korea, and show that the social movement sector remains an important player in Korean politics today. 

This book will appeal to students and scholars of Korean studies, Asian politics, political history and social movements.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION 1: Democratization and the Evolution of Social Movements in Korea: Institutionalization and Diffusion, Paul Y. Chang and Gi-Wook Shin PART I: SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION 2: The Korean Democracy Movement: an Empirical Overview, Gi-Wook Shin, Paul Y. Chang, Jung-eun Lee and Sookyung Kim 3: From Minjung to the Simin: The Discursive Shift in Korean Social Movements, Namhee Lee 4: Exorcizing the Ghosts of Kwangju: Policing Protest in the Post-Authoritarian Era, Jong Bum Kwon PART II: INSTITUTIONALIZATION OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS 5: Origins of the National Human Rights Commission of Korea: Global and Domestic Causes, Jeong-Woo Koo 6: From the Streets to the Courts: PSPD’s Legal Strategy and the Institutionalization of Social Movements, Joon Seok Hong 7: The Entry of Past Activists into the National Assembly and South Korea’s Participation in the Iraq War, Sookyung Kim and Paul Y. Chang 8: The Consequences of Government Funding for Environmental NGOs in South Korea, Chang Bum Ju 9: The Institutionalization of the Women’s Movement and Gender Legislation, Chan S. Suh, Eun Sil Oh and Yoon S. Choi PART III: SPIN OFF MOVEMENTS AND DIFFUSION PROCESSES 10: Citizen Journalism: The Transformation of the Democratic Media Movement, Thomas Kern and Sang-hui Nam 11: New Activist Cultural Production: Independent Filmmakers, the Post-Authoritarian State, and New Capital Flows in South Korea, Young-a Park 12: The Korean Gay and Lesbian Movement 1993-2008: From "Identity" and "Community" to "Human Rights", Hyun-young Kwon Kim and John (Song Pae) Cho 13: Lawyers for a Democratic Society (Minbyun): The Evolution of Its Legal Mobilization Process Since 1988, Patricia Goedde 14: Left Out: People’s Solidarity for Social Progress and the Evolution of Minjung After Authoritarianism, Alice S. Kim APPENDIX: The Stanford Korea Democracy Project

About the Editors

Gi-Wook Shin is Professor of Sociology at Stanford University, USA.

Paul Chang is Assistant Professor of Research Methods at Yonsei University, South Korea.

About the Series

Routledge Advances in Korean Studies

Korea is currently experiencing its most significant transformations since the end of the Korean war. This series is a showcase for the latest research on North and South Korea. The series is interdisciplinary in its focus.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Civics & Citizenship
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies