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From Authoritarianism to Democratic Corporatism? The Rise and Decline of Social Dialogue in Korea

Dong-One Kim () and Ji-Young Ahn ()
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Dong-One Kim: Korea University Business School, Korea University, 145 Anam-Ro, Seongbuk-Gu, Seoul 02841, Korea
Ji-Young Ahn: Ewha School of Business, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Korea

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-20

Abstract: This study analyzes the sudden rise, quick success, and gradual decline of democratic corporatism (DC) in Korea. The analysis and discussion in this paper is based on qualitative approach, combining semistructured interviews and a review of archival evidence on the sustainability of social dialogue in Korea. In addition, we also provide supplemental quantitative evidence based on interview results. The present study indicates that an event such as a sudden economic crisis can lead to short-term outcomes such as a swift experiment with DC, but determination of the very nature of a tripartite agreement and the long-term sustainability of DC hinges on structural elements and path dependence formed and built up over decades. Events in Korea show that a direct transition from state authoritarianism to DC is a difficult, if not impossible, task.

Keywords: democratic corporatism; social concertation; industrial relations; economic crisis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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