This paper explains the reason why the hitherto statist country, Korea, has carried out significant decentralization since the 2000s. In explaining the motivation for decentralization, extant literature has focused on the role of parties, bureaucratic politics, democratization, or territorial interests. Yet there is still limited explanation of how the decentralization laws in Korea could be successfully passed in the 2000s, while cental stakeholders still persisted. By tracing the process of decentralization reform in the 2000s, this article demonstrates how structural factors created favourable circumstances and discursive background for institutional change, and how the idea of decentralization, through the idea diffusion mechanism, gave directions for central decision makers to produce a specific path of reform strategies. It also pays attention to the formation of ‘practical authority’ for reform politicians that made it possible to overcome obdurate resistance from central bureaucrats and politicians.
Decentralization, Central-local relationship, Idea, Institution, South Korea
Asian Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Asian Journal of Political Science
Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles
BAE, Yooil.(2015). Ideas, interests and practical authority in reform politics: Decentralization reform in South Korea in the 2000s. Asian Journal of Political Science, 24(1), 63-86.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1851
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