Sangmook Lee

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Ziring

Second Advisor

Dr. Alan C. Isaak

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Kobrak

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis focuses on the process of democratic consolidation in South Korea. Under the assumption that South Korea's democratic consolidation phase has not been completed, the thesis examines the problems and prospects of South Korean democratic consolidation in terms of its political, economic, and social aspects. In particular, from a comparative perspective on the Third Wave of democratization, the thesis deals with the changes, dynamics, and characteristics of South Korean democratization. Using a maximalist conception of democratic consolidation, the thesis analyzes how South Korean democracy is becoming consolidated in the political and socioeconomic spheres.

South Korea is undergoing a democratic consolidation process. The long-term prospect for South Korean democracy is bright. However, consolidating democracy is not easy job and it cannot be established in a short time. It is necessary to increase the government's efficiency to manage sociopolitical conflicts and to drive reform continuously. Ultimately, when South Korea has established both political democracy and socioeconomic democracy, it will be a consolidated and stable democracy.