Professor Yoonkyung Lee publishes “Between the Streets and the Assembly”

October 7, 2022 by Shreeya Lamba

Congratulations to Professor Yoonkyung Lee for her new book titled Between the Streets and the Assembly: Social Movements, Political Parties, and Democracy in Korea, published by University of Hawaii Press.

In her book, Lee examines political dynamics in South Korea, with a focus on the role of protest movements over political parties in shaping Korea’s democracy. She determines the effectiveness of different modes of democratic representation through an investigation of the motives and methods of three different groups of democracy activists in post-authoritarian Korea. Lee finds that in organizing national solidarity networks, creating innovative methods of public demonstrations, and consulting professionals to formulate policy changes, civic groups in Korea have created far more potential to alter their nation’s political dynamics than activist-turned-politicians.

In finding powerful political agency in Korean social movement groups, Lee challenges contemporary scholarly assumptions about civic associations as largely dismissible organizations in the political dynamics of nations worldwide. She suggests instead a different possibility of political process that emphasizes the power of citizens over politicians. The book, part of the Hawai‘i Studies on Korea series, is available for purchase on the publisher website.