Democratization theories and their applications to Ghana and South Korea
Ghana and South Korea have experienced regime changes from politically closed regimes to liberal democracy since their independences from Britain and Japan. This study elaborates on important factors that affect regime shifts in both countries. After reviewing a vast array of literatures, I argue that economic reform and civil society directly influenced democratization in Ghana. Neo-liberal economic reform led by international forces created decentralization and social movements that gave pressures to President Jerry Rawlings to consider running for a democratic presidential election. Social movements from below directly caused the democratization in South Korea. The dictator Chun gave up his power in the face of massive demonstrations of students, labor, and oppositions and so on. Modernization indirectly contributed to democratization with social changes such as increasing level of education and urbanization in both countries. Political culture has affected democratic consolidation rather than democratic transition.