World Politics

Research Article

The Rise of Bureaucratic Authoritarianism in South Korea

Hyug Baeg Im*

In this paper, I investigate why a bureaucratic-authoritarian (hereafter BA) regime emerged in South Korea during the early 1970s. The regime transition was the outcome of conflict among key political actors who were constrained, although not in a deterministic way, by the change in the Korean economic structure. It can be understood as the outcome of strategic choices made by key political actors among alternatives that satisfied structural constraints.

* The first draft of this paper was presented at the 34th annual meeting of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, Miami University (Oxford, Ohio), October 11–13, 1985.1 should like to thank Adam Przeworski, Duncan Snidal, Bernard S. Silberman, and Guillermo O'Donnell for their critical comments, which helped to improve this essay.