The People Power Revolution that toppled former SouthKorean President Park Geun-hye was historic and unprecedented. Among other things, it represented a visceral call by the public for clean government and an accountable democracy. The tasks now facing newly elected President Moon Jae-in are daunting and urgent.
The new government must understand how the conservatives came undone and institutionalize the democratic spirit of the candlelight vigils that brought it to power.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s inauguration address on May 10, 2017.
President Moon Jae-in must balance Pyongyang, domestic political constituencies and the foreign-policy goals of China, the US and Japan.
One of South Korea’s central challenges is an old one: whether and how to amend its 1987 constitution.
It will take wisdom and creativity within a fractured political system to restore a sense of national harmony.
Major strides on this important social agenda are unlikely because of a reluctance to press for tax increases.
Dramatic policy challenges await the new government from radical, technology-driven changes to the workplace.
A lack of youth job creation is a nagging issue. Recovery will require short-term consumption growth.
China's Belt and Road Initiative has the potential to deepen connections within Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world in ways that will promote shared prosperity.
The initiative certainly has a lot to recommend it, not least its promise of infrastructure spending. But it also has financial and geo-strategic motives to enhance China's influence.
The region’s challenge is to avoid draconian solutions while addressing underlying issues of social and political polarization that lead to “digital bubbles.”
Few non-Chinese are even aware of the country’s long struggle to forge its national language, something taken for granted in Western and other nations.
The country’s Bangkok-based middle class and civil society are intent on preserving their political interests at the expense of the rural population.
Beijing’s growing geopolitical influence and willingness to fund regional projects make Southeast Asia a focal point for a contest of influence with Tokyo.
Some of the greatest surprises have come from the prime minister’s numerous foreign policy moves, which have marked him out as a force to be reckoned with.
North Korea may still flout human rights and continue to develop a nuclear arms arsenal, but life in the country is changing gradually. One veteran observer saw signs across Pyongyang during his most recent trip.
By More than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific since 1783, by Michael J. Green.
Stein Ringen responds to William H. Overholt’s review of his book The Perfect Dictatorship in our Spring 2017 issue.
New titles by Anne-Marie Slaughter; Alexander Dukalskis; Basharat Peer; Patrick Kugiel; Paul Murphy; Toh Han Shih; Tuong Vu; Graham Allison; Stephen D. King; Frank Dikötter; Michael Lucken; Seung Hyok Lee.