Elites and Political Power in South Korea
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Elites and Political Power in South Korea

Byong-Man Ahn

In Elites and Political Power in South Korea, Byong-Man Ahn examines problems related to Korea’s political and ruling systems. He examines the Korean government in a global context and explores Korea’s cultural and political matrix. The author goes on to analyze political power, political parties and the elites in terms of their contribution to the ongoing cycle of dominance. An understanding of Korean government is developed, with particular attention paid to the unique pattern of its administrative system vis-à-vis those of other systems.
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Chapter 13: Dynamic Relationship between the Executive and Legislative Branch

Byong-Man Ahn


INTRODUCTION Since a representative system was introduced as a counterweight to the royal authority in the United Kingdom, a majority of countries have adopted their own diverse versions of legislative body. With the advent of constitutional democracy in nineteenth-century Western Europe, the representative body assumed diverse functions, consisting of articulation of national goals, enactment of laws and formulation and execution of policies. Coming into the twentieth century, the public bureaucracy was saddled with new functions attendant to urbanization, industrialization, and the increasing complexity of social and economic problems. Increasingly diverse governmental functions led to the executive dominance over the legislative body. In the developing countries released from the colonial yoke of Western Europe, national development was the prime national task, the performance of which gave an added impetus to the bureaucratic expansion before the legislative system took root. The legislative functions of these countries were reduced into symbolic meaning. Whether a climate has been created for the representative body to perform its unique functions has become an important benchmark of political development. The proper functioning of the representative body may be considered in various ways and what comes to the forefront of thinking is the functional autonomy and integrative function of the representative body in relation to the executive body.1 Functional autonomy is the institutional condition for the cultivation of administrative professionalism in the bureaucracy and integrative function means the maintenance of an effective balance of power between the legislature and the executive. With this premise in mind, this chapter...

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