Democratization and Social Movements in South Korea: A Civil Society Perspective*

  • Sunhyuk KimEmail author
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


The year of 2007 marked the 20th anniversary of South Korea’s democratic transition. Over the past two decades, South Korean politics has witnessed crucial changes. South Korea suffered from two military coups, one in 1961 and the other in 1979–1980, which temporarily halted the transition to democracy. In democratized South Korea today, military coups are unthinkable, and elections have become free, fair, and clean. Civilian control of the military is considered integral to the survival and prosperity of a democracy (Schmitter and Karl 1991). This transition has enabled the elections of Kim Dae Jung, a former political prisoner sentenced to death, and Roh Moo Hyun, a former labor rights lawyer devoted to pro-democracy movement, to South Korean presidency.


Civil Society Minority Shareholder Authoritarian Regime Democratic Liberal Party Democratic Transition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationKorea UniversitySeoulKorea

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