Local, National, and International Determinants of Truth Commission: The South Korean Experience
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In recent years, the number of truth commissions in countries around the world has continued to increase, and their scope and functions have become much broader. There is, however, still a need for a comprehensive theoretical framework that will enable scholars to explain the truth commission phenomenon. In this article, I will outline a new theoretical framework that combines social movement theory and transnational advocacy networks theory. I will then apply this framework to the South Korean truth commission experience, and analyze in detail the process that enabled local activists to successfully push for the creation of the first South Korean truth commission in 2000. Based on the South Korean case, I find that, first of all, important national and international factors would not have come into play if not for the persistent struggle of local activists. Second, I find that local activists were able to make optimal use of these national and international opportunity structures to pursue their goals through various timely and effective strategies.
Human Rights Quarterly
Copyright 2012 The Johns Hopkins University Press. This article first appeared in Human Rights Quarterly, Vol.34(3), Aug, 2012, pp.726-750. Reprinted with permission by The Johns Hopkins University Press.