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Impact of the 16th Presidential Election on Political and Socio-Economic Cleavages in the ROK

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Technical Report

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Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies Honolulu United States

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Dictionary definitions of the term, cleavage, include splitting, separating, dividing, and it means a critical division in opinion, beliefs, and interests, etc., as leading to opposition between two groups. Divisions and cleavages have been common in political, social, and economic endeavors from the times of Socrates and Confucius. Socrates died due to critical division in opinion, and the Confucian ideal of the great harmony still remains illusive. Korea has not been a paragon of harmony. In fact, far from it. Historically, tangjaeng factional strife115 had long been a bane of Korean societies, and manifested severe forms of cleavages with political and socio-economic ramifications. These tangjaengs were particularly pernicious cleavages during the last Korean dynasty, long before the rise of what had been called an indigenous teaching of the Tonghak Eastern Learning116 that began in 1860.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science

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