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Democratic Transition and Intraparty Politics: The Distribution of Key Party Positions in Democratizing South Korea

Democratic Transition and Intraparty Politics: The Distribution of Key Party Positions in... This article examines the changing pattern of key party position assignments in three leader-centric political parties during the democratization of South Korea. We examine the interplay of three key variables: (1) party members’ relationship to the party leader, (2) leaders’ relationships to the party’s core faction, and (3) political seniority, as factors that determine who receives key party positions. More specifically, we focus on the way seniority interacts with factionalism and patrimonialism to affect the assignment of key positions. Our analysis highlights the substantial variation between our focal parties depending on the configuration of these three variables. In contrast with a conventional view that has focused on uniformity in South Korean intraparty politics, we find that a seniority-based institution has emerged for the assignment of key party positions. Our study contributes to an understanding of the interplay of personalistic behaviors and informal rules in intraparty politics and how this interplay contributes to the institutionalization of informal but important institutions governing intraparty politics during democratic consolidation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Korean Studies Duke University Press

Democratic Transition and Intraparty Politics: The Distribution of Key Party Positions in Democratizing South Korea

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Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by the Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York
ISSN
0731-1613
eISSN
2158-1665
DOI
10.1353/jks.2014.0013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the changing pattern of key party position assignments in three leader-centric political parties during the democratization of South Korea. We examine the interplay of three key variables: (1) party members’ relationship to the party leader, (2) leaders’ relationships to the party’s core faction, and (3) political seniority, as factors that determine who receives key party positions. More specifically, we focus on the way seniority interacts with factionalism and patrimonialism to affect the assignment of key positions. Our analysis highlights the substantial variation between our focal parties depending on the configuration of these three variables. In contrast with a conventional view that has focused on uniformity in South Korean intraparty politics, we find that a seniority-based institution has emerged for the assignment of key party positions. Our study contributes to an understanding of the interplay of personalistic behaviors and informal rules in intraparty politics and how this interplay contributes to the institutionalization of informal but important institutions governing intraparty politics during democratic consolidation.

Journal

Journal of Korean StudiesDuke University Press

Published: Mar 14, 2014

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