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Nation Building in South KoreaKoreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy$
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Gregg A. Brazinsky

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831205

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867792_brazinsky

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Toward Democracy

Toward Democracy

(p.223) 8 Toward Democracy
Nation Building in South Korea

John Lewis Gaddis

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how the United States' nation building helped create a powerful South Korean state committed to maximizing its control over society as well as a formidable opposition intent on bringing democracy to the country. It looks at the continuous struggle between the state and pro-democracy forces such as students and intellectuals, particularly after Park Chung Hee introduced the Yusin system in 1972 that sparked protests against South Korea's growing authoritarianism. The chapter also considers the rise of a new military dictatorship led by Chun Doo Hwan following Park Chung Hee's assassination in 1979, which led to the escalation of conflict between democratic forces and the state. It argues that America's influence declined during this period due to its reduced commitment to Asia in general, and increased South Korean autonomy in particular.

Keywords:   nation building, United States, South Korea, democracy, Park Chung Hee, Yusin, protests, authoritarianism, military dictatorship, Chun Doo Hwan

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