'A Generational Earthquake'?: An Analysis of the 2002 Presidential Election in South Korea

Carl J. Saxer


The 2002 presidential election in South Korea was seen by some commentators as
a 'generational earthquake'. It was argued that younger voters, defi ned as those
belonging to the 20–30 age groups, had become more mobilized and active than
in any previous election, and that consequently the persistent regionalism that
had characterized South Korean national elections for so long was fi nally at an
end. It was also claimed that the 2002 election marked a repositioning of ideology
and policy preferences at centre stage. The present article, however, argues that
while ideology and policy preferences did indeed assume greater importance,
and while generational issues also came to the fore, yet the predominant factor in
the 2002 election remained – as in previous presidential elections in South Korea
– a persistent, almost static, regional voting pattern.


Korea; Election; 2002

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22439/cjas.v18i0.18

Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
ISSN (print): 1395-4199, ISSN (online): 2246-2163

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