Post-democracy in Korea (with an update)

**This article is now free to download**

Just made available at the JCA website is “Pursuing Post-democratisation: The Resilience of Politics by Public Security in Contemporary South Korea” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2015.1094119) by Jamie Doucette and Se-Woong Koo.

The abstract states:

This article analyses the disputed election of President Park Geun-hye and her administration’s confrontation of left-nationalist politicians and other social movements during her first year in office. We argue that the Park administration’s policies resonate with contemporary discussions of “post-democratisation,” a process whereby social rights are increasingly subordinated to market logics and state power insulated from popular challenges. Under the conservative governments of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, this process has been animated by a mode of confrontation known in South Korea as “politics by public security.” This politics targets social conflict and political dissent as threats to national security and has involved both illegal interventions by state institutions – such as the 2012 electoral interference by state agencies including the National Intelligence Service – and a cultural politics that affirms but revises the narrative of Korean democratisation by obfuscating the nature of the democracy movement and by attempting to restore the honour of conservative forces associated with former dictatorships. In order to better understand this conjuncture, we explore its origin within a tacit alliance between both former public security prosecutors-cum-conservative politicians and a movement of conservative intellectuals known as the New Right.

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