An Unexpected Pioneer in Asia: The Enfranchisement of Foreign Residents in South Korea
Hannes B. Mosler, Luicy Pedroza – 2014
Since 2005 South Korea is the pioneer state in Asia to extend voting rights at the local and regional levels to foreign residents. The few explanations of this unlikely reform remain partial and contradictory. With this research, we contribute to a fuller understanding of the political process that led to this electoral reform. We take a middle-range perspective that emphasises the role of the construction of these rights and negotiation about them between political groups along a decision-making process. We find that some characteristics of the Korean enfranchisement of non-citizens render it indeed a special case, but that it also confirms the explanatory power of the factors proposed by the more specific comparative literature dealing with this phenomenon.