A comparative study on the development of civil-military relations in the process of democratization in South Korea and Taiwan until 2008
Nam, Sang bum
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This thesis compares the changes of civil-military relations during the democratization process in South Korea and Taiwan until 2008. It applies Narcis Serra's theory of military reform and civil-military relations. In The Military Transition: Democratic Reform of the Armed Forces, Serra argues changes in civil-military relations occur along three axes: military professionalism, civilian control of the military, and tension between civilians and the military. This analysis shows that military professionalism and the civilian control of the military improved in both countries during the democratization process, but the degree of improvement in South Korea was higher than in Taiwan. Furthermore, the tension between the civilians and the military in Taiwan was higher than that of South Korea. The difference in civil-military relations between the two countries is attributed to different paths of democratization. In Taiwan, the democratization movement was initially less influential than in South Korea. Not only was the Taiwanese military more reluctant to reform, but also social pressure demanding reform was comparatively weak. In South Korea, the democratization movement was more forceful due to regular mass mobilization, while the military was more responsive to social pressures.
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