Limited Pluralism in a Liberal Democracy

Seoul National University’s Erik Mobrand‘s new article “Limited Pluralism in a Liberal Democracy: Party Law and Political Incorporation in South Korea,” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1441428) has been published online.

This is another article in the special collection edited by Priya Chacko and Kanishka Jayasuriya to be titled “Crisis, Populism and Right-wing Politics in Asia.”

His abstract states:

Formal modes of political incorporation in South Korea rest on a foundation of limited pluralism. The notion that the state should impose rigid boundaries on political representation pervades the country’s democracy. This notion is enshrined in law – in particular in the constitution’s Article 8 and in the Political Parties Act – and is upheld and perpetuated by the judiciary, the election commission, and the parties that dominate representative institutions. Labour is particularly disadvantaged by the limited pluralism contained in party laws. The role of party law in shaping modes of political incorporation is frequently overlooked. This account of party law in South Korea echoes this issue’s attention to the quiet ways that the state in Asia has silenced or ignored particular groups while maintaining the formal institutions of electoral democracy. In this case, the effect is to facilitate a rightward drift by the state as left-leaning actors face greater challenges in contesting elections.

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