The Korean Environmental Movement: Green Politics Through Social Movement

  • Dowan KuEmail author
Part of the Nonprofit and Civil Society Studies book series (NCSS)


The Korean environmental movement has unique characteristics that are rarely found in other countries. The environmental movement, which began as a part of the democratization movement under authoritarian government, went through rapid development and institutionalization after an opening in the political opportunity structure with the beginning of democratization in 1987. By skillfully framing environmental issues to attract broad popular support, the movement mobilized sufficient resources to further expand the democratic opening and change the political structure. As sociologist Lee See-jae once remarked, the establishment of the Korean environmental movement can be summarized as a double-edged process of institutionalization and empowerment. This paper analyzes the process by the Korean environmental movement for socially constructed environmental “problems” making the best use of openings in the political opportunity structure.


Social Movement Environmental Organization Democratic Progressive Party Environmental Movement Social Movement Organization 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment and Society Research InstituteSeoulSouth Korea

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