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Seoul protests represent a "distinctive Korean political culture," scholars say


Photo credit: 
Flickr/Michael-kay Park

Stanford professor Gi-Wook Shin and Rennie J. Moon compare the political protests in South Korea of today to that of 1987 in an editorial for the Diplomat. The recent demonstrations are an illustration of “a distinctive Korean political culture that prioritizes elements of virtue, shame and saving face,” they wrote.

Shin, who is the Korea Program director at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, and Moon were both in Seoul on Nov. 12 and were observers of the crowd of one million people who gathered to protest South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s administration. He also spoke to the Economist earlier about the likelihood of the president’s resignation or impeachment.

Read the Diplomat editorial here and the Economist article here.

Shin and Moon have since co-authored a paper on the topic in volume 57 of Asian Survey, titled "South Korea in 2016: Political Leadership in Crisis," which can be viewed here.