Freedman s book Political Change and Consolidation is an informed and insightful exploration of the dynamics of democratization in the four East Asian countries most affected by the 1997-1998 regional economic crisis.
Her comparative analysis is solidly grounded in democratic theory and political economy.
The study, while acknowledging the roles of popular protest and forces originating in civil society, identifies intra-political elite perceptions and preferences as the key to explaining the policy reactions of four sets of national decision makers to the domestic and international political pressures generated by economic collapse.
In particular, she focuses on the domestic political impacts of the IMF s demands and programs to demonstrate the potency of the international factor in shaping both the pace and the possibilities of consolidation of democratic change." - Donald E. Russell Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of South Carolina"Amy L.
Freedman has written a subtle and sophisticated analysis of the relationship between economic turmoil and the democratization process.
Through detailed case analysis, she has demonstrated that no single theory will explain the different paths that Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Korea experienced after the 1997 financial crisis." - David Denoon, Professor of Politics and Economics, New York University"The book is clearly written and has concise historical overviews of each state's path toward democracy...
Friday’s removal of Park Geun-hye from the presidency has resounding implications for the state of South Korean democracy.
By many accounts, the election is the left’s to lose.Moon Jae-in, the leading candidate, is polling at 32 percent, far ahead of his next-closest opponents, Ahn Hee-Jung (17 percent), Ahn Cheol-soo (9 percent), and acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn (9 percent).But the election also represents a greater test — or, depending on your vantage point, greater example — of South Korea’s development as a democracy. From its founding in 1948 as the Republic of Korea (having been divided from North Korea following liberation after World War II from Japanese Imperial rule), South Korea had struggled to realize substantive democracy.This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 1987 democratic constitution, and the pathway to consolidated democracy still has roots in the authoritarian government that preceded it. The United States backed Rhee Syngman in the transition from the U. military government (1945-48) to the South Korean republic, on the condition that his government embrace elective democratic procedures.Parsing these roots and the treatment of civil society opposition brings to light challenges and implications for the future of Korean democracy. But Rhee desired political power, and with the adoption of the National Security Law, passed in 1948 amid fears of communist factions gaining ground in the southwestern cities, was able to use fears of communist espionage and treason to stamp out political opposition.The ground being laid for such repression of opposition, the military dictator Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye father, who ruled Korea from 1963-1979, made further institutional changes that permitted coercion and suppression of any political competition.