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Title: The role of government in conflict resolution related to urban and regional development in Korea
Author: Park, Hyung Seo.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3467 6277
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2001
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This research started from the recognition that intergovernmental conflicts are inevitable in the process of public policy-making. ;.md that changes in extel11al environments have an influence on the process of conflict management and resolution. As Korean society changed in the 1990s toward democratisation and local autonomy (especially from 1995). the potential grew for intergovernmental conflicts over major urban and regional development projects. The purpose of this research has been to examine the factors influencing the intensity of such conflicts and the variables for conflict resolution related to major regional development projects and environmental issues, and in particular to consider the role of the government in the process of conflict resolution. A review of the literature on conflict theory and conflict resolution (Chs. 3 -4) identified the key factors influencing conflict origins and management of the process of conflict. It indicated the key variables influencing conflict resolution including the potential for new, more mediating roles in conflict resolution. It suggested that the degree of difficulty in resolving conflicts was related to the intensity of the conflict concerned. Further literature reviews on the introduction of local government autonomy in Korea (ChA) and the existing spatial planning system (Ch.5), document the growth of intergovernmental conflicts since 1995. They also verified the need for research into this general problem and provided a specific research scope in relation to major development and environmental projects in Korea so as to promote more effective management and negotiation strategies (Ch.6). The second stage of the research programme began by defining the requirements of a theoretical framework to be applied in an empirical analysis. Because of the need to investigate complex, time-extensive relationships in the specific context of Korea, the method of comparative case studies was chosen for this purpose. The main elements of the framework (Ch.7) included the factors influencing the intensity of conflict, ways of measuring the degree of intensity and the factors involved in conflict resolution. Three categories of intergovernmental conflicts were chosen for case study, and in order to provide a basis of comparison of the position before and after local autonomy (1995) two cases were examined in each category. The three categories were: nuclear plants at Amyun Island and Yongwang (Ch.8); major transport infrastructure projects at Kyungju and Inchun (Ch.9); and, water resource investment projects at Wichun and Youngwol (Ch.1 0). The comparative analysis is provided in Chapter 11. The case study analysis of these major development projects in Korea generally supported the central hypothesis of the relationship between the intensity of a conflict and the relative difficulty in its resolution. After the introduction of local autonomy the intensity of intergovernmental conflicts had become more visible, more intense and more difficult to resolve. Despite central government's role as a direct participant, there was some evidence of an emerging and useful mediation role which could be encouraged and developed further. The conclusions drawn from this research suggest that the key to developing a successful government role in conflict resolution in Korea will be to ensure a congruence between all elements of the planning framework, full integration and co-ordination between spatial plans or projects, and, the involvement all participants in the process of conflict resolution. There are also important roles for government in establishing new schemes for alternative dispute resolution and mechanisms for balancing between local/regional burdens and national benefits. These should be an integral part of an organisational strategy for continuous improvement in order to maximise the level of social satisfaction and competitive advantages in Korea's regional development. In terms of successful implementations of alternative approaches for conflict resolution, the outcomes for govel11ments and people would be a better performance in conflicts related to urban and regional development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available