The transformation of cyberactivism and democratic governance in Korea: The role of technology, civil society, and institutions

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the transformation of cyberactivism in Korea by comparing two cases of cyberactivism - one in reaction to the killing of Hyosoon and Misun by U.S. soldiers in 2002 and the other responding to the U.S. Beef Import negotiations in 2008 in Korea. While the impact of the Internet on many political and social changes in Korea has already been shown, there are differences between the levels of impact that the Internet has over time. What is noteworthy of the two most representative case of citizen cyberactivism using the Internet in Korea is that, while the 2002 candlelight demonstrations were led by organized civil groups, the anti-U.S. beef candlelight demonstration of 2008 was prompted by the voluntary participation of citizens, in the absence of organized leadership. This paper identifies the nature of this transformation of cyberactivism, from within the changing sociopolitical context, that is, the changing characteristics of Korea's civil society, the advances in technological development, and the transformation of the relationship between the government and civil society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-368
Number of pages32
JournalKorea Observer
Volume40
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

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