Intra-party politics and minority coalition government in South Korea

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This paper examines the internal dynamics of Korean political parties to understand why the minority coalition government of Kim Dae-jung suffered from political stalemate or deadlocks in the legislature. It shows that a focus on the size of the government in terms of a majority status in the legislature does not offer a convincing explanation of why the Kim Dae-jung administration slid towards ungovernability. Instead better insights come from an analysis of party organization, an aspect of party politics rarely examined through in-depth analysis. The paper shows that in terms of the key dimensions of organization (leadership type, factionalism, funding, linkage role) Korean political parties fail to connect citizens to the political system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-389
JournalJapanese Journal of Political Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008


  • South Korea
  • coalition politics
  • minority coalition government
  • semi-presidentialism
  • semi-presidential systems
  • intra-party politics
  • Party politics

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