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Comparative study on the process of democratization in South Korea and Singapore

Author: MaXueFeng
Tutor: ZhuManLiang
School: The Central Party School
Course: Political Theory
Keywords: South Korea Singapore democratization compare
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Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 840
Quote: 1
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Abstract


Democracy belongs to the fruit of civilization of all mankind. From thenineteenth century, with the development of capitalism around the world, the tide ofdemocracy began to spread to the world. The "third wave" of democratization trend,originated in southern Europe in1970s, has impacted the world overwhelmingly. Withthe national social and economic development and the impact of the wave ofdemocratization, building democracy has become the reality that can not be avoidedduring the country’s political development, and political leaders must face the people’saspirations for democracy.The process of democratization in South Korea and Singapore launched in thecontext of modernization and globalization, and the modernization made economy,society and politics undergo profound changes. Industrialization based onmodernization promoted the development of market economy, which promoted themodern transformation of the social and economic structure of two countries andpeople’s attitudes, laying the social and economic basis of development of democraticpolitics. Globalization made western political civilization spread all over the world,and the concept of democracy was rooted in minds of people deeply. Although theprocess of democratization in South Korea and Singapore experienced failures,setbacks, backwards, but their democratic development trend is firm, and constructionand development of democratic politics has become the consensus of the elite and thepeople of the two countries. South Korea turned to democratic politics successfully inthe late1980s after it carried out years of authoritarian rule. Singapore insisted todevelop their own form of democracy, to explore the democracy construction differentfrom Western-style. The two countries’ economic development, party politics, thepolitical elite, the international environment and political culture were major factors toinfluence the process of democratization of the two countries, and these factors werenot isolated, but interacted and influenced each other. A comparative study of thestructural factors in the process of democratization of the two countries can help usunderstand the similarities and differences of the democratization process in the twocountries, summarize the successful experience and lessons of failure ofdemocracy-building between the two countries, which lay the foundation and providereferences for further democratic development and construction of other countries.This article is composed of eight chapters and epilogue. The first chapter is theintroduction to introduce the foundation of choosing the topics, the definition of thescope of the study, research status at home and abroad, theoretical assumptions, andtheoretical paradigm for the analysis, research methods, and the main concepts of thearticle. The article proposes expected innovation and difficulties, and gives a briefaccount of the overall framework of the thesis.Chapter Ⅱ, the development of democracy in South Korea and Singapore, gives abrief introduction to the process and characteristics of democratization in South Koreaand Singapore, which would help to analyze the structural factors affecting theprocess of democratization in the two countries.The title of Chapter III is economic development, civil society and democratization. Economic development made the social and economic structure ofSouth Korea and Singapore undergo tremendous changes. The development of marketeconomy created a group of middle class and promoted the establishment anddevelopment of NGO and the formation of civil society. Civil society checks andbalances on government power and develop social and personal freedom, which is aprerequisite for the establishment of democratic politics. Economic development wasa fundamental factor that laid social and economic basis for the democraticdevelopment of the two countries.The title of Chapter IV is party politics and democratization in South Korea andSingapore. Economic modernization led to the changes of social structure. As a result,the social basis of party politics changed, and party politics continuously developed inthe modern environment. The interaction between the different political partiespromoted the development of democracy. The political parties are an important tool topromote democratic development, but also provide an important platform for thepolitical elite to exert their talents.The title of Chapter V is the elite and democratization in South Korea and Singapore.Economic and political development needed the leadership and promotion of the elite.The elite promoted political and economic development through their own politicalparty. The struggle and cooperation between South Korea and Singapore’s ruling eliteand the opposition elite promoted the development of democracy between the twocountries.The title of Chapter VI is political culture and democratization. Culture is aimportant background and foundation of the establishment and operation of somesystem, which impacts on people’s ideas and behaviors. Economic and socialmodernization and foreign cultures caused a huge impact on the local culture of SouthKorea and Singapore. In the new political and economic situation, the two graduallyformed a political culture compatible with the modern political system. South Koreaand Singapore reconstructed the country’s political culture, a new political culturewhich shaped the new values and made it conducive to the development andfunctioning of its democratic system.The title of Chapter VII is internationalization and democratization. In thesituation of the continuous development of globalization, the democratization of acountry is actually the result of the interaction between domestic and internationalfactors, which international factors play a role through domestic factors. This chapterdescribes the role of international factors in the process of democratization of the twocountries, the impact of economic globalization, the world’s wave of democratizationand political development between the two countries, U.S. factors’ influence on thedevelopment of Korean democracy and English factors’ influence on the building ofdemocracy in Singapore.Chapter8, the consolidation and prospects of democratic politics of South Koreaand Singapore, analyzes them how to consolidate the achievements of democracy andadvances an outlook the development of democracy of the two countries.The last part is Conclusion, which summarizes the full text. Arriving at the goal ofdevelopment of democratic politics is the greatest common in the process of democratization of the two countries. South Korea and Singapore’s economicdevelopment, political parties, elite structure, political culture and the differentinternational factors influencing the two countries were the main reasons resulting inthe differences of democratic political process between the two countries.Most countries of the world have established democratic politics in order toconform to the needs of the development of domestic and international situation.People’s strong desire for the masters of themselves makes democracy become thegoal of people’s relentless pursuit. The specific form of Western democracy is not "theonly game in the global village". Diversification of the stakeholders, diversification ofthe demands of interest and diversification of Peoples and civilizations determine therich diversity of forms of democracy. The formations of democracy vary widely, butthe essence of democracy is the same. It is that people are the masters, they have morerights and freedoms, and government power must be restricted and controlled.

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