The East-West Center Research Program brown-bag presentation on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, will feature politics specialist Olli Hellmann speaking on “The Institutionalization of Corruption in South Korea.” Hellmann is a lecturer in politics at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom and is currently a POSCO visiting fellow at the East-West Center. His presentation will take place from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m. in Burns Hall room 3012.
According to Hellmann, South Korea appears to be struggling more than other industrialized democracies to combat corrupt practices by public office holders. His presentation will argue that conventional anti-corruption approaches have failed to uproot corruption in South Korea, as particularistic exchanges are institutionalized in informal networks that connect political elites to private business. By generating social capital and harboring corruption-specific know-how, these networks can evade monitoring and resist punishment. Through a comparison with other capitalist countries in East Asia, he will trace the institutionalization of corruption back to the “critical juncture” at which organizations for mass mobilization were first established in the mid-twentieth century.
Olli Hellmann’s research on party organization and party systems in East Asia has been published in a monograph titled Political Parties and Electoral Strategy: The Development of Party Organization in East Asia (Palgrave Macmillan) and in a number of peer-reviewed journals, such as Party Politics and the Journal of East Asian Studies. More recently, his research has shifted toward issues of state building and corruption. Funding for this new research has come from the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the British Academy/DFID Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Partnership.
For further information, contact the East-West Center Research Program.