American Sociological Association

Going Underground: The Origins of Divergent Forms of Labor Parties in Recently Democratized Countries

This study explores how different forms of civic solidarity emerge during authoritarian eras and how they evolve into diverse labor-based political institutions after transitions to democracy. I initially explore the modes of choices that radical intellectuals make—go underground or cooperate—in their responses to coercion and co-optation by authoritarian elites. Based on comparative historical evidence of institutionalization processes of labor-based politics in four recently democratized developing countries, I identify three types of solidarity and one absence case, each reflecting a different combination of strengths and divisions in the informal civil society of its respective nation: participatory solidarity, top-down solidarity, clique-based solidarity, and co-optation (no solidarity). This study shows that radical intellectuals’ early actions play critical roles in the evolution or devolution of institutionalization of different forms of labor politics during the democratic consolidation.

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Cheol-Sung Lee





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