Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Media Appearance: "The Fall of 'Corrupt but Competent' Leadership in South Korea" on the Atlantic

The crazy political scandal from South Korea is putting Korea watchers to work! Here is an excerpt from your humble blogger's latest contribution to the Atlantic:
In 2012, South Korea’s democracy experienced a severe regression when Park Geun-hye was elected the country’s 18th president with 51.6 percent of the vote, on the back of a decidedly anti-democratic wave. Amid the global financial crisis of 2008, a large segment of Korean society—particularly its older members—fondly remembered the authoritarian rule of Park Chung-hee, Park Geun-hye’s father. They expected her to deliver results like her father, while looking away from his assault on democracy. A slim majority of Koreans thought they could sacrifice democratic principles in exchange for stability and economic development.  
But after four years, Korea's electorate reconsidered the proposition, and moved for a clean break with the legacy of military dictatorship that had plagued South Korea for decades. Park’s removal carries major ramifications for Korean democracy. It is the culmination of a multi-year movement led by South Korea’s liberal democracy— the opposition, the courts, the media and the civil society—to achieve, pursuant to the rule of law, an orderly and peaceful removal of an illiberal and anti-democratic president. It is South Korea’s own Glorious Revolution.
The Fall of 'Corrupt but Competent' Leadership in South Korea [The Atlantic]

The impeachment of Park Geun-hye should be a proud moment not simply for South Korea's democracy, but democracies all over the world as they are fighting the rising tide of xenophobic authoritarianism.

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