Monitoring Democratic Politics, a Market Economy, and Citizen Well-Being: The South Korea Barometer

  • Doh Chull Shin
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 33)


South Korea is regarded as the most influential and vigorous new democracy in East Asia. The country has not only transferred power peacefully to an opposition party but has also fully transformed its age-old crony capitalism into a competitive and transparent market economy. Yet the question remains: How much progress has Korea really made in democratizing its authoritarian institutions and its underlying cultural values that for nearly three decades supported the military dictatorships that ruled the country? To what extent has the country succeeded in restructuring its crony capitalism? How have these political and economic changes affected the quality of life that ordinary Koreans experience in the private and public spheres of their lives? This study addresses these questions by analyzing the Korea Democracy Barometer surveys conducted over the period of 1997–2004. The results of this analysis reveal that Korea has become a market democracy but its people do not experience any significant improvements in the quality of their lives.


Korea the quality of life democratization economic reform democracy barometer 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Doh Chull Shin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Missouri at ColumbiaColumbiaUSA

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