제목48권 3호 Populism out of Globalization: Drifting Civil Society in South Korea
작성자성희 전조회수59날짜2021/12/01

Populism out of Globalization: Drifting Civil Society in South Korea

Hyun-Chin Lim

Abstract

Today we are witnessing the decline of democracy and the resurgence of authoritarianism worldwide. Undoubtedly, democracy is in retreat, threatening to undermine political rights and civil liberties. I would like to point out two things of importance. First, while citizens throw doubt on electoral votes, they tend to rely on increasing activism on the streets and to show growing resentment online. This politics of distrust endangers representative democracy characterized by participation and contestation. Second, populism makes a comeback to threaten party politics while at the same time widening political and ideological cleavages. From Italy through Turkey to Brazil, populist parties have gained increasing power by resorting to either exclusionary nativism or inclusionary egalitarianism. This paper argues that neoliberal globalization has brought in sovereignty crisis in terms of making national policies on migration, refugees, inequality, polarization, job losses, and so on. I claim that the rise of populism manifests the weakness of today’s democratic representation system.

However, populism is dictated by rhetoric and mobilization to remain in power. Propaganda and agitation often outweigh debates and participation. Populist movements or parties try to mobilize mass support to directly link to the people. I examine populist tendencies in South Korea that mobilize supporters through new social media characterized by fake news, misinformation, and biased broadcasting. South Korea’s civil society, that had expanded its space during candlelight protests in 2016 and 2017, has formed two antagonistic political camps, the pro-Moon group and anti-Moon group. It should be emphasized that civic empowerment would be the best possible solution to save democratic values and institutions in the face of populist challenges. In the midst of antagonistic conflicts between two opposing political camps, civil society has become too divided to play a part in empowering citizens. The future of Korean democracy would be dependent upon whether a strong and sound civil society can be revitalized for civic empowerment. I suggest that civil dialogues between two antagonistic political camps will play a key role.

 

Keywords

democratic recession․globalization․restructuring․liberal democracy․populism ․civic empowerment․South Korea

 

1.Hyung-Chin Lim

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