Transitional justice in South Korea

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Abstract

Korea's recent history has been marked by an ex-tremely dynamic process, with multiple political transitions: Japanese colonialism (1910–1945), the U.S. military occupation (1945–1948), the Korean War (1950–1953), the dictatorship of Rhee Syng-man (1948–1960), a short-lived democracy (1960–1961), a military coup and subsequent dictatorship by Park Chung-hee (1961–1979), the assassination of Park and the brief moment of the Seoul Spring (1979), another coup by Chun Doo-hwan and Roh Tae-woo and the authoritarian rule under Chun (1980–1988), and finally, democratization in 1987. Since democratization in 1987, various transitional justice measures have been adopted in order to address the vast array of past human rights violations. Criminal prosecutions, truth commissions, and reparations have been used, with the latter being the most frequently and consistently employed choice. Nevertheless, research on South Korea has lagged noticeably behind that for other countries. Apart from a handful of articles and monographs on the 1980 Gwangju massacre, there are few English-language articles on this aspect of South Korea. Even within Korean academia, there has not yet been a thorough study of this issue, partly because these processes have occurred fairly recently, and also because most of these massacres have been a result of still ideologically controversial conflicts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransitional Justice in the Asia-Pacific
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages229-258
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781139628914
ISBN (Print)9781107040373
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Kim, H. J. (2011). Transitional justice in South Korea. In Transitional Justice in the Asia-Pacific (pp. 229-258). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139628914.008