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2012, Vol.39, No.2

  • 1.

    China’s Search for Grand Strategy after the Cold War and the Future of the Korean Peninsula

    Ahn Byung-Joon | 2012, 39(2) | pp.1~26 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The nature of China’s rise in the 21st century world is one of the most important questions for East Asia and the future of the Korean peninsula. Judging from various signs of Chinese assertiveness emerging after America’s Great Recession broke out in 2008, Chinese grand strategy, if any, seems to be shifting from Peaceful Rise advocated to ensure a smooth economic development to Near-shore Balancing toward Regional Hegemony designed to deter the U.S. from approaching near Chinese shores in Asia. This shift may well reflect China’s rising power itself and its perceptions about a relative decline of American power especially in the wake of the sudden financial crisis. I have selected four most important constraints on Chinese grand strategy: history, geopolitics, economy and domestic politics. In comparative terms, Chinese history and politics set more constraints on intentions and styles of Chinese grand strategy whereas Chinese geopolitics and economy set more constrains on power and capabilities. From these I also have discerned four contending visions of Chinese grand strategy: Sino-centric nationalism, realism, globalism, and Confucianism as soft power. Of these, nationalism and realism seems to exert more influence than globalism and Confucianism insofar as the overall direction of Chinese grand strategy is concerned. The direction of Chinese grand strategy evolving from these diverse trends can best be described as what I call Near-shore Balancing toward Regional Hegemony. The advent of this new strategy may conflict with America’s grand strategy called Offshore Balancing in East Asia which is designed to keep one power from dominating the region especially when the U.S. now tries to “come back to Asia” by reinforcing its forward deployments. South Korea finds itself in increasing rivalry between these “two dreams sharing the same bed”: China’s quest for a unipolar Asia via building a Sino-centric and exclusive East Asian Community and America’s quest for a multipolar Asia via fostering a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) toward a Pacific Community. South Korea has little choice but strengthening its security alliance with U.S. and expanding its thrusts for economic globalization via free trade agreements while attempting by all means to build strong bridges with China and other powers by deepening common economic and strategic interests.
  • 2.

    Russian-South Korean Security Relations Reconsidered: The Lost Two Decades of Promise and Perils

    Se Hyun Ahn | 2012, 39(2) | pp.27~53 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    This article analyses the problems of comprehensive bilateral security relations between Russia and South Korea. The paper examines how the focus of the regional security cooperation building process between Russia and South Korea has evolved since the establishment of diplomatic relations. This paper contends that the two countries have put equal emphasis on both traditional and non-traditional security cooperation. However, the focus has gradually changed from the traditional to a non-traditional dimension. This study also maintains that in order to establish a favourable regional security environment, bilateral and multilateral cooperation among nation states is essential because regional economic security cooperation provides an opportunity to generate trust and confidence between nation states. Nonetheless, bilateral relations between Moscow and Seoul have developed quite slowly because both have underestimated the importance of regional economic security. As a result, the two countries have failed to cultivate full trust in each other. And neither side has had the motivation to deal with existing domestic obstacles such as the inherent economic difficulties of the Russian Far East, and the reluctance of the South Korean government and private sector to invest in the long term. Furthermore, bilateral security cooperation between the two countries has been hampered by external factors such as the North Korean nuclear issue and the dominating role the US or China has been playing in the Northeast Asian region.
  • 3.

    Economic Crisis, Democratization, and Welfare State Generosity in South Korea, 1972-2005: Evidence from Structural Break Estimation

    Jungho Roh | 2012, 39(2) | pp.55~78 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    In this article, I examine the effects of economic crisis and democratization on welfare state generosity in South Korea. While there are many qualitative studies documenting welfare policy expansion after the 1997 Asian financial crisis or the 1987 democratization, statistically solid empirical research remains lacking. This study fills the gap by employing several time-series methods for testing for structural breaks. Using 1972-2005 data, I show that the two economic crises, one in 1979 and the other in 1997, play major roles in explaining the growth of the Korean welfare state. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that economic crisis leads the public to ask the government for protection. I also show that democratization led to an increase in the expenditure on welfare programs, but its effect is statistically not robust.
  • 4.

    The Veto Point Politics of the Presidential Impeachment in South Korea: An Analysis of the Parliamentary Impeachment against President Rho Moo-hyun

    Kim, Soon Yang | 2012, 39(2) | pp.79~106 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    The principal purpose of this article is to narrate the veto point politics of the 2004 parliamentary impeachment against President Rho Moo-hyun in terms of the political and institutional contexts and the process and outcomes of impeachment, in order to debate over the factors that caused the failure of impeachment. To the aim, this article first explored the theoretical frameworks on the presidential impeachment and veto points, and then gave a general explanation of the background story of Korean politics and impeachment institutions. This article proceeded to elaborate on the political and institutional contexts of the presidential impeachment and how these contexts influenced the process and outcomes of impeachment. The next chapter examined the veto point politics of impeachment, consisted of parliamentary motion and the Constitutional Court’s adjudication. Consecutively, this article narrated the outcomes and aftermaths of impeachment, and then finalized with the discussions on the factors that caused the failure of impeachment