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"This book examines the changes in politics, economics, society, and foreign policy in South Korea since 1980. Starting with a brief description of its history leading up to 1980, this book deals with South Korea's transition to democracy, the stunning economic development achieved since the 1960s, the 1997 financial crisis, and the economic reforms that followed and concludes with the North Korean nuclear crisis and foreign relations with regional powers. The theoretical framework of this book addresses how democratization affected all of these dimensions of South Korea. For instance, democratization allowed for the more frequent alternation of political elites from conservative to liberal and back to conservative. These elites initiated different policies for dealing with North Korea and held different views on South Korea's role in its alliance with the United States. Consequently, ideological divides in South Korean politics became more stark and the political process more combative"--Provided by publisher.
South Korea's phenomenal rise has been studied extensively by political scientists and economists both in terms of its impact on democratisation and as a role model for economic development. Yet little attention has been devoted to exploring the nexus between economic development and foreign policy. In South Korea's Rise, Uk Heo and Terence Roehrig propose a new theoretical framework to illustrate how an increase in a country's economic prosperity can bring about change to its foreign policy, prompting greater involvement in the international system, the transition to democracy, an expanded set of interests and increased tools to pursue its foreign policy goals. As a rising middle power, analysis of South Korea's foreign policy is crucial to our understanding of the power structure and future relations in East Asia. This is essential reading for all students and scholars with an interest in Asia, foreign policy and global economics.