Rich information, less participation : why did voters' participation decrease in the 2007 Korean presidential election compared to the previous one?
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper explores the relationship between Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and political participation of the Korean public by examining the two most recent presidential elections. The 2002 presidential election was a symbolic moment in South Korean political history when fast-emerging civic engagement fueled by new ICTs finally had a significant impact on the outcome. However, the voter-centered participation was not seen again in the 2007 election, in which the 17th (2008-2012) Korean president Myoung-Bak Lee was elected. Voters did not show as much enthusiasm in the election process as they had five years before, and many active supporters as well as campaign volunteers suddenly disappeared. Despite much more advanced technologies for efficient social conversation, voters did not participate proactively in the election and the major media recaptured their role in controlling public opinion. This paper first examines the successful points in producing massive participation in 2002 and the limitations of online participation in 2007, considering why voter engagement disappeared so suddenly. At the same time, having investigated the character of online participation in the two consecutive elections, I propose the idea that the Internet or ICTs cannot automatically lead to advancement in political behavior unless accompanied by solid democratic experience shared by members of society.
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