South Korean Government Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

political structure and philosophy of South Korea is a unique interplay of four major forces: first, and most obvious, the individual native customs and beliefs of the Korean people; second, Confusion notions and ideals; third, Western European and U.S. political models; and fourth, Marxist philosophy. The internal notions of governance have been greatly influenced by these three outside ideologies and come together to form the current South Korean form of government. To understand the modern South Korean government is to recognize it as a conglomeration of philosophies that appear on the surface to be contradictory, but arose out of several periods of economic and political strife.

The fifteenth century saw the rise of Neo-Confucianism in South Korea; this came out of a response to the established system of noble overlords. The new political movement sought to establish a government that addressed the issues of the citizenry rather than simply act to perpetuate its own power. "As the proponents of Neo-Confucianism secured positions in central government organs, especially the Board of Censors, they were increasingly able to propose policies aimed at the moral reform of the government and its officials in the light of Neo-Confucian doctrine." (Wright 62). Eventually, the political structure became factionalized, separating the Neo-Confucians from the nobles.

Contact with the West in the 17th and 18th centuries lead to drastic social and economic changes. Koreans became exposed to notions of religion and governance that were directly opposite to their own. "However, as Korea -- like China and Japan -- was driven to modernize and industrialize, both for self-protection and to meet the rising expectations of the people, it had to accept the Western values that accompanied the process." (Macdonald 119). Since 1876, with exposure to Marxist philosophies, North Koreans embraced communist attitudes and beliefs that other nations were reluctant to adopt. The impact was felt less strongly in South Korea where an integrated political structure is still emerging. Western institutional forms have taken root in South Korea but the traditional and Confucian patterns of behavior still pervade the government.

"Family, associational group, and factional loyalties still outweigh civic consciousness. Informal group networks, such as school and college alumni associations (notably the successive graduating classes of the Korea Military Academy) or shared provincial origins, are powerful channels of communication and influence. The sense of abstract justice and universal human rights is weak in comparison to group loyalties and duties." (Macdonald 119).

As of 1987 the government of South Korea has instilled a system more like that of its Western counterparts than ever before. The original constitution was adopted in 1948 under UN supervision, but has been amended nine times; many of these amendments have almost completely overhauled the existing structures of government. The amendment of 1987, however, gave the South Korean government a very close resemblance to Western democracies while maintaining the general organizational structure: "The principle changes of the 1987 amendment are to restore popular election of the president, to strengthen the role of the legislature, and to strengthen guarantees of individual rights." (Macdonald 152).

Like Western democracies, the South Korean government consists of three general branches: the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. According to the Constitution the unicameral National Assembly consists of at least 200 members. Most of these are directly elected by district voters, but not all of them. For example,

"In 1990 the National Assembly had 299 seats, 224 of which were directly elected from single-member districts in the general elections of April 1988. Under applicable laws, the remaining seventy-five representatives were appointed by the political parties in accordance with a proportional formula based on the number of seats won in the election." (Mortimer 205).

The Constitution of 1987 established what has come to be known as the Sixth Republic of South Korea and has granted this National Assembly an increase in power. The annual session of the National Assembly was extended to 100 days, and the power to investigate state affairs was also strengthened. Additionally, the state assembly now boasts the authority to remove the prime minister or any cabinet minister at any time (Mortimer 206). Furthermore, the National Assembly now performs the tie-breaking function in presidential elections, and approves all judicial appointments made by the president. These recent measures have greatly increased the power of the legislature while decreasing to individual powers of the president; generally producing a government that can more honestly be called a democracy than at any other point in the nation's…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"South Korean Government" (2004, November 14) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from

"South Korean Government" 14 November 2004. Web.7 December. 2016. <>

"South Korean Government", 14 November 2004, Accessed.7 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Government in South Korea Should

    (Siminski, 2012) In the 1990s the veterans' Disability Pension scheme has had some effects. These results stated by the researcher Siminski (2012) are in disproportion to the situation in USA, of the same periods and it was thus concluded that there was employment disincentives inherent in Australia's veterans' compensation system. Though the nations are supposedly blaming the points system for their failure to accommodate ex-servicemen, the system does not show

  • South Korea Market Analysis Subscribers Political Variables

    South Korea Market analysis Subscribers Political variables Economic variables Socio-cultural variables Observations Singapore Market analysis Political Economic variables Socio-cultural variables The basis of this country attractiveness report is to identify the most suitable target market to launch a sea food enterprise. The two countries within our scope are South Korea and Singapore. In this report we evaluate the level of attractiveness on the basis of political variables, economic variables, and socio-cultural variables. This report includes an analysis of the suitability of the

  • South Korea Multilateralism Regionalism and

    Certainly, this is reinforced by recent legislative efforts currently under discussion in the parliament. The ruling Grand National Party has been the subject of public resistance more recently, perhaps owing to the global economic slowdown which has caused widespread discontent throughout the world. In response, and with elections -- at that time -- approaching, the South Korean government considered the passage of legislation that would both place limitations and

  • Korean War Is One of

    Despite extensive assistance from the United States and the United Nations, the South Korean economy failed to rebound and it took nearly a decade before the South Korean economy began to demonstrate any significant improvement. Oddly the South Korean improvement coincided with the rise to power of Park Chung Hee (Vu). Prior to 1961, South Korea was ruled by a civilian government but a military coup occurred in 1961

  • Korean Diaspora by Charles Armstrong

    Families are often conflicted about the degree to which they should socialize the child in the culture of their homeland, particularly if they are not of that child's origin. This conflict is often seen in adoptions of Korean children. Eleana Kim has argued that such attempts by parents are often futile, and simply confuse the child with static, folkloric representations of the home nation that bear little resemblance to

  • Socio Cultural Perspective on Rising Suicide Rate for South Koreans...

    Rising Suicide Rates for South Korea | Public Health Issues A Socio-cultural Perspective on Rising Suicide Rate for South Koreans Suicide is an overarching social concern that affects all age groups. In recent years, there has been growing concern regarding the increasing rates of suicidal tendencies among adolescents. The Korea National Statistical Office reported that suicide numbers for ages 10 -- 29 years in South Korea (1,255) comprised 22.2% of the total number

  • U S Role in Development of South Korean

    U.S. Role in Development of South Korean Economy The end of the Second World War saw the division of the Korean Peninsula into two separate countries: North Korea, under the control of the Communists, and South Korea, under the control of the United States and it's allies. (Carter 2010) In June of 1950, the North Koreans, with Soviet support, invaded the South in an effort to re-unite the two countries in

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved