How East Asians View Democracy-Chapter 2: The Mass Public and
Democratic Politics in South Korea
• Late 1980 began the political transformation from military rule to
• Transformed an entrenched system of “Crony capitalism” into a
competitive and transparent market economy.
• Between 1987 and 1988, Korea accomplished a peaceful transition
from military dictatorship (led by Chun Doo Hwan) to a democratic
o For three decades (1961-1987), the military ruled the country as
a developmental dictatorship with a rationale of promoting
economic development and strengthening national security
against the communist North.
• Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan were extremely dictatorial and
ruled South Korean with an iron fist.
• The regime controlled opposition parties and other nonpolitical civic
and business organizations through a variety of tactics including
• The Constitution of the democratic sixth Republic, ratified in a national
referendum held in October 1987 laid out a new institutional
foundation to representative democracy
• The establishment of democratic institutions
o The constitution established the Constitutional Court and created
measures to guarantee independence of judiciary, broaden civil
liberties, protect political parties from being disbanded by
arbitrary government action and mandate political neutrality of
• Second and third Presidents of Sixth