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The Third SectorCommunity Organizations, NGOs, and Nonprofits$
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Meghan Elizabeth Kallman and Terry Nichols Clark

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040436

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040436.001.0001

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South Korea

South Korea

(p.141) 5. South Korea
The Third Sector

Meghan Elizabeth Kallman

Terry Nichols Clark

Cary Wu

Jean Yen-Chun Lin

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the development and infrastructure of the third sector in South Korea. Rapid and far-reaching political changes in South Korea have transformed the nature and composition of the country's third sector. Activists and dissenters who participated in the transition to democracy now fill the ranks of the nonprofit sector, in which the institutional logic of activism remains highly visible. In contrast to democratic ethos, Confucianism puts emphasis on hierarchical principles but does not necessarily stifle civil society; it simply reshapes it. This chapter first provides a background on the South Korean third sector and its legal structure before discussing its sources of funding and some of the opportunities and challenges for Korean nongovernmental organizations. It also looks at two cases that demonstrate the vibrancy of civil society: the 2008 beef protests and the Korean Federation for Environmental Movements' transition from bureaucracy to activism and professionalization.

Keywords:   third sector, South Korea, activism, civil society, legal structure, funding, nongovernmental organizations, protests, Korean Federation for Environmental Movements, democracy

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