The pace of policy reform is important in new democracies, where the status quo policies, established by non-democratic regimes, may be far from the preferences of popular majorities. Slowing policy reform slows down governmental implementation of democratic policy mandates. This, in turn, may offset (at least partly) the positive effects of broader participation and greater accountability.
Whether the net impact of procedural reform is to accelerate or to slow policy reform depends on the particular procedures involved, and the political context. In this paper, the authors consider a procedure that, on the surface, appears likely to accelerate reform, thereby promoting change in the policy status quo. This is a sunset rule.
This paper focuses on the sunset rule adopted in South Korea, at the end of the Kim Young Sam administration. Kim's support for the sunset rule at the end of his term is puzzling. Why would a lame duck president support a rule that would seem to limit the life of the regulations passed in his own term?
Jeeyang Rhee Baum, is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. She earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include comparative political institutions, administrative law, and bureaucracies with a particular emphasis on East Asia. Her most recent publications include: "Presidents Have Problems Too: The Logic of Intra-branch Delegation in East Asian Democracies", British Journal of Political Science (forthcoming) and "Breaking Authoritarian Bonds: The Political Origins of the Taiwan Administrative Procedure Act", Journal of East Asian Studies.