Confucianism and coalition politics: Is political behavior in South Korea irrational?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper examines the extent to which rational choice and culture can be accommodated in explanations of political behavior and party politics in non western settings. It discusses the case of coalition politics in post-democratization South Korea. By looking at how Confucian political culture provides the environment in which political actors devise strategies in accordance with the prevailing cultural norms, continuous party switching and defection no longer appear irrational, but represent a way to secure positions and and interests for the political actors and the voters on whose loyalty they depend.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-32
JournalJournal of Northeast Asian History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • coalition politics
  • confucianism
  • cultural norms
  • political behaviour
  • South Korea
  • Korean politics
  • party politics

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