Advocacy Coalitions and Policy Change: The Case of South Korea's Saemangeum Project

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The Saemangeum Tideland Reclamation Project (STRP), one of the most controversial environmental cases in the recent history of South Korea, is an interesting test of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) and its ability to help us understand policy change. The STRP has gone through several revisions, but the original plan was to reclaim land from the sea in Southwestern Korea. Filling in the estuary began in 1991, but it was slowed by a series of opposition movements by environmentalists. After a long and bitter conflict between the government and environmental activists, the Saemangeum sea dike was completed in 2010, becoming the longest seawall ever built with a length of 33.9 km. Two coalitions, an advocacy coalition for development and an advocacy coalition for conservation, were engaged in a highly heated debate for over 15 years. This study plans to shed light on a question of whether the ACF can explain long-term policy changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85S-103S
JournalAdministration and Society
Issue numberSUPPL.6
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2010-413-B00024).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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