Ha Yong-chool

Impact of Democratization on Regionalism in Korea: A Complex Interplay

A controversy has arisen over entrenched regionalism in Korean politics and its resolution. There are basically two opposing views: One is the top-down institutional approach that emphasizes reforms in the electoral system. The other view, the bottomup socioeconomic approach, focuses on the importance of socioeconomic differentiation for the emergence of issue-oriented parties. In what follows, I will briefly summarize and criticize the recent debates and suggest an alternative framework with which to analyze the relationship between democratization and regionalism.

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