South Korea After Impeachment

Issue Date October 2017
Volume 28
Issue 4
Page Numbers 117-131
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Read the full essay here.

After months of street demonstrations involving tens of millions, South Korean President Park Geun Hye was impeached in March of 2017. Some observers wonder if Korea’s young democracy has succumbed to populist forces, lapsing into deinstitutionalization. By analyzing these events in the larger context of Korea’s political history, we contend that they were not an attack on democratic institutions, but rather a movement to redress their violation by Korea’s political elite. We further argue that protest-led reform is a familiar pattern in Korean politics and that what took place indicates not a crisis of democracy, but a step forward.

About the Authors

Gi-Wook Shin

Gi-Wook Shin is professor of sociology and director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

View all work by Gi-Wook Shin

Rennie J. Moon

Rennie J. Moon is associate professor of research methods at Underwood International College of Yonsei University and the 2016–17 Koret Fellow at the Shorenstein Center.

View all work by Rennie J. Moon