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Conflict Structure and Public Conflict in Korean Society: Focusing on Conflict Cases in National Projects

  • Korean Society and Public Administration
  • Abbr : KSPA
  • 2011, 22(3), pp.1-27
  • Publisher : Seoul Association For Public Administration
  • Research Area : Social Science > Public Administration

JEONG, JEONG HWA 1

1강원대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study analyzes public conflicts around grand-scale national projects taking place in the 2000s. The particular focus is upon social and political conflicts in national projects involving multiple stakeholders. The aims of this study are to understand the causes of recent public conflicts around national projects and identify suitable conflict resolution methods based on ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) and deliberative democracy. The paper finds that public conflicts around national projects tend to be caused by a lack of validity or procedural democracy, ecocide and environmental pollution. Many national projects were initiated by presidential candidates who made reckless public commitments without consideration of social agreement, economic effectiveness, or scientific appropriateness. When public conflicts arose, committees or research groups were created to arbitrate between government and stakeholders. However, the universal methods of settlement were lawsuits or political resolution because attempts at consensus-building among participants ended in failure. The implications of the case analyses are as follows: First, we should modify the legal and institutional system to activate ADR, because there are obvious limitations of conflict resolution through lawsuits. Second, it is suggested that a national conflict mediation committee should be established that can proactively prevent public conflicts. Third, we need to exploit open discussion mechanisms such as participatory decision making methods, and deliberative democracy.

Citation status

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