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The Korea Now Podcast

Oct 22, 2019

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Erik Mobrand. They speak about the authoritarian origins of South Korea’s democracy, the shadow of the Cold War era, the developmental state-building period, the way these origins still shape South Korea’s democratic structures today, the interchanges between formal and informal structures, the Political Parties Act, the Central Election Management Commission (CEMC), the National Security Law, the unwinding of authoritarianism, constitutional reforms, the party cancellation system, the disbanding of the United Progressive Party (UPP), the street protests that brought down Park Geun-hye, and the resilience and vibrancy of South Korea’s democracy (as witnessed through such protests) in spite of its authoritarian hangovers.

Erik Mobrand is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies at Seoul National University, and a former Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. With a regional specialization in Korea and China, his research has focused on the legal regulation of politics, the ways that constitutions, legislation, and courts influence political contestation, the interplay of formal institutions and informal arrangements, and the ways that informal networks undermine formal limits on authority. Erik is the author of the recent book Top-Down Democracy in South Korea, and pertinent to this podcast he is also the author of: Democracy Is More than a Political System: Lessons from South Korea's Democratic Transformation, On Parties' Terms: Gender Quota Politics in South Korea's Mixed Electoral System, Limited Pluralism in a Liberal Democracy: Party Law and Political Incorporation in South Korea, The Politics of Regulating Elections in South Korea: The Persistence of Restrictive Campaign Laws, and The Street Leaders of Seoul and the Foundations of the South Korean Political Order.

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