DECOLONIZATION AND GOVERNMENT PARTIES IN POST-WORLD WAR II ERA: THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES AND DEMOCRATIZATION IN PERSPECTIVE
Asian Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Studies,
This paper examined the process of and reasons for the authoritarianization of countries that newly obtained independence after World War II, to locate South Korean experience in the context.
Concerning the authoritarianization of these countries, this study showed that it was affected deeply by their processes and characteristics of decolonization. Decolonization was a kind of revolution, so it broke the power balances between the states and societies of these countries. In the process, local elites lost their social and economic resources to rule their villages against states. Without powerful local elites, it is exceedingly difficult for opposition parties to find their own organizations that are strong enough to resist powerful administrative parties that monopolize strong state organizations.
Decolonization also broke ideological power balances between the ruling parties and oppositions. In the process of decolonization, people had to find their new identities as members of new nation. Thus, the founding fathers of nations played this role as charismatic leaders. Ruling parties, as parties of charismatic leaders, also monopolize the ideologies of new nations.
For democratization of their countries, oppositions had to have something to resist and win against ruling administrative parties with charismatic leaders. Therefore, oppositions must rely on ideology to resist and win against ruling parties. However, in the international situation of these countries, the ideological options along the traditional left–right axis are severely limited, meaning they need some new ideology for democratization. This is why the democratization of these countries often brings with it the rise of ideological parties of a new type, such as fundamentalism, regionalism, and new nationalism.
This paper concludes that South Korean experience of authoritarianization and democratization is also a typical example of such newly independent states and the process was deeply affected by uniqueness of the process of decolonization.
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