Labor and Democratization in South Korea and Taiwan

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43 Citations (Scopus)


The article examines the recent work by Rueschemeyer et. al. (1992) and revisits the classic issue of the social basis of democracy. It argues that Rueschemeyer et al. are biased in their definition of democracy, have focused too narrowly on the postures of individuals classes, and have produced a one-sided picture of the role of the workers in democratization. Using the experiences of South Korea and Taiwan, the article argues that the extent of workers's involvement in the democratic struggle depends on their experiences of state domination. The latter, in turn, is influenced by the workers' market positions and the nature of the labor regime in question. The article also argues that workers affect democratization in a macro-structural sense, both by influencing the agenda of the oppositional movement and by shaping the contour of socio-political conflict of society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-202
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contemporary Asia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1998


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