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SCOPUS 학술저널

Cutting Corruption without Institutionalized Parties:

The Story of Civic Groups, Elected Local Government, and Administrative Reform in Korea

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How did South Korea come to adopt successful anti-corruption administrative reforms in the early 2000s which markedly improved the nation’s corruption perception and bribe survey scores? Emergent democracies generally lack the institutionalized political parties needed to push through anti-corruption policies, and Korea was no exception. While Korean civic groups took the lead against corruption, they failed to sufficiently press President Kim Young Sam, who implemented reforms which instead focused on increasing executive control over the bureaucracy. NGOs eventually succeeded by redirecting efforts towards the more accessible, newly established elected municipal governments, to introduce administrative reforms like the E-government OPEN program, which reduced uncertainty and strengthened the pro-reform political coalition, paving the way for President Kim Dae Jung’s eventual adoption of anti-corruption administrative reforms in 2000. The Korean case shows how elected local government offers civic groups an avenue through which to advance reform, offering hope to the many young democracies lacking institutionalized parties which struggle to contain corruption.

I. The Logic behind Higher Corruption in Emergent Democracies

II. The Korean Case

III. Methodology

IV. The Limits of Civic Group-led Reform under Kim Young Sam

V. The CCEJ’s Local Government Administrative Reform Agenda

VI. The CCEJ Push for Local Administrative Reform

VII. Local Governments Implement Administrative Reform: 1995-1998

VIII. Seoul Mayor Goh Kun’s Reforms

IX. Central Government Adoption of Anti-Corruption Administrative Reform

X. Conclusion

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