Politics and Policies in Divided Korea: Regimes in Contest

In This Review

Politics and Policies in Divided Korea: Regimes in Contest

By Young Whan Kihl
Westview Press, 1987
307 pp.
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This much-praised study compares the political systems of North and South Korea and presents a useful summary of developments in the two Koreas up to about mid-1983. The strength of the book is in its skillful use of the comparative perspective which allows the author to place the political systems of the two Koreas into a larger framework. Its weakness lies in overstressing the authoritarian tradition common to both Koreas and understressing the structural differences. Thus the author's concluding judgment-that "a new tradition of totalitarian policies is about to take root in the soil of Korea"-may turn out to be quite wrong.

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