Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Protest and repression in South Korea (1970–1979): The dialectics of movement emergence and evolution
by Chang, Paul Y., Ph.D., Stanford University, 2008, 175; 3313811
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explains the emergence and evolution of South Korea's democracy movement during the height of state repression. This study situates anti-government protest in relation to state repression, explicating the mutual influence on each. Based on empirical analyses of democracy related protest and repression events, I highlight the theoretical importance of considering the dialectical interplay between mobilization and coercion.

In Part I of the dissertation, I describe the diversification of Korea's democracy movement. In Chapter 2, I show how different social groups were motivated to join the democracy movement in reaction to the state's closing of the political opportunity structure. Christians, journalists, intellectuals, and other groups joined students and laborers after witnessing the extreme repressive measures of the state. Chapter 3 describes how various social groups tended to utilize unique sets of protest tactics and raise issues relevant to their particular social identities. Thus, the diversification of social actors participating in political protest resulted in the diversification of tactics used and issues raised in South Korea's democracy movement.

In Part II, I empirically assess the interaction between the democracy movement and Park Chung Hee's Yusin regime. First, in Chapter 4, I show that state repression galvanized the founding of Christian social movement organizations and contributed to the development of a Korean liberation theology. I also discuss in Chapter 5 how state repression motivated the creation of alliances between different social actors participating in the democracy movement. Finally, how the state revised its repressive strategy depending on the various characteristics of protest events, as one measure of movement-countermovement coupling, is discussed in Chapter 6. I conclude the dissertation by speculating on the importance of the 1970s democracy movement to the democratic transition that occurred in 1987.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Shin, Gi-Wook
School: Stanford University
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 69/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Political science, Social structure
Keywords: Dialectic, Korea, Movement emergence, Political sociology, Protest, Repression, Social movements, South Korea
Publication Number: 3313811
ISBN: 978-0-549-62969-6
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