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Civil Society on the Move

Transition and Transfer in Germany and South Korea


Eun-Jeung Lee and Hannes B. Mosler

Following the transformation of the Soviet-controlled Eastern European system, there has been a renewal of discourses on civil society. The collection of essays discusses this complicated and controversial concept and explores the possibility of new approaches for the study of Korean civil society and democracy. Combining interdisciplinary and transregional research, it contributes directly to the field of democracy after democratization and sheds light on concepts of civil society, developments of various civil society organizations and student movements in Germany, Korea, and Eastern Europe.
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The Pressure of “Dual De-institutionalization” and the Institutionalized Response of Social Movements in Korea



In this essay, the author illuminates the efforts of South Korean civil society organizations to establish various think tanks after democratization. It is explained as a way to go beyond the role of previous organizations that “only” provided critical surveillance, to develop policy alternatives and to participate in policy building processes. The study focuses on examining how the citizens’ movement deals with dual de-institutionalization pressure, that which comes from both the top by the government and from the bottom by the citizens.

The purpose and action of Korean citizens’ movement have been deeply related to “institutionalization” for about 20 years since 1987. There have been serious conflicts about the details, speed, and direction of democratization in Korea and in many cases, the conflicts have changed into “institutional reform.” Sometimes, “the institutional reform from the above” led by the president, the government and the ruling party has been overwhelming. On the other hand, there was a strong desire for the institutional reform which became the core of social movement (Hong 2007). In this process, the citizens’ movement was bureaucratized and specialized to be accepted as a part of the social institution. Diverse methods of the citizens’ movement have become more moderate and common and have been incorporated into a part of the usual political process. In their book, Meyer and Tarrow say that the social movement existed in contemporary life and that the movement became a daily occurrence by being included in the institutional and political sector...

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