Frame Contest of Foreign Policy: Who Influences Whom in South Korea?

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Unlike under authoritarian rule in South Korea, the autonomy of political actors has increased vastly over the years since democratization in 1987. Moreover, diversified participants of policy-making beyond political entities, including the media, interest groups, and civil society, have become an important variable to the policy-making process. From the beginning of his candidacy, President Roh Moo-hyun called for changes to the policy towards the United States, and his continuous efforts to persuade diverse actors brought about controversies throughout his term. Policies that deviated from past administrations triggered criticisms from his political opposition, while policies similar to the past administrations prompted disapproval from his supporters. This study attempts to explain how the political actors during the Roh administration framed certain issues to gain the upper hand in foreign policy. I have selected issues that drew great social attention and controversies (such as troop dispatch to Iraq and wartime operational control transition) and conducted vector autoregression analysis to empirically analyze the reciprocal relationship among the president, the National Assembly, and the media. As a result, this study was able to highlight their reciprocal relationship depending on the foreign-policy goals – national interest or national prestige – on the nature of policy prosecution, either passive or proactive, and on the urgency of policy enforcement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-174
Number of pages34
JournalPacific Focus
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Center for International Studies, Inha University

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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