Seminar: Political Influence of the Park Chung Hee Syndrome in Korean Democracy - Focusing on the Case of the 2012 Presidential Election


This is a listing of older East-West Center events (newer listed first).  See Events to get the list of current or upcoming events.

Brown Bag Seminar by WooJin Kang

When: Jan 7 2014 - 12:00pm until Jan 7 2014 - 1:00pm
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room #3012, East-West Center

Why is there a resilient nostalgia for former authoritarian regimes in new democracies almost one generation after the third wave of democratization? What are the implications of this phenomenon for the quality of emergent democracies? In particular, what are political influences of Park Chung Hee syndrome in the electoral politics in Korea? This seminar aims at analyzing empirically political influence of Park Chung Hee syndrome in the 2012 presidential election, where Park Chung Hee’s daughter was elected as the first female president in Korea. Park Guen-hye, the candidate of the ruling conservative New Frontier Party (Saenuri) and daughter of the former authoritarian leader, Park Chung Hee, won the 2012 presidential election with a narrow 3.5% margin over Moon Jae-in, a candidate from the opposition Democratic United Party who other opposition parties had supported.  Even though Park Guen-hye built her own political reputation as a principled politician and was perceived as the  woman who could save the conservative party (Grand National Party [GNP], a former party of the Saenuri Party), there is no question that Park Chung Hee syndrome contributed her victory. If so, how did and how much Park Chung Hee syndrome contribute Park Geun-hye’s victory in the 2012 presidential election. This seminar will discuss an empirical analysis of electoral determinants of citizen’s support for Park Guen-hye in the 2012 presidential election with focus on the influence of Park Chung Hee syndrome along with its implications.

WooJin Kang is an Assistant Professor at Angelo State University, Texas, where he teaches courses such as political economy of East Asia and Politics of the Two Koreas. He received his M.S and Ph.D from Florida State University and his BA and MA from Korea University. His current research focus is comparative political behavior and political economy of democratization in East Asia. His recent research appears in International Political Science Review.

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Cynthia Wasa Nakachi
Phone: 808.944.7439
Related Staff: