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Citizen Participation in Seoul, Tokyo, and Chicago

Can Tocqueville Karaoke? Global Contrasts of Citizen Participation, the Arts and Development

ISBN: 978-1-78190-736-8, eISBN: 978-1-78190-737-5

Publication date: 15 July 2014


In this chapter, we review how scenes theory can be related to civic participation and how the relationship differs across Seoul, Tokyo, and Chicago. The discussion begins with the major Western theory of Tocqueville/Putnam that participation drives legitimacy. However, it can be briefly relativized by introducing alternative paths. These ideas link to results from Kim (Kim, S. 2008) that show different paths for legitimacy and trust according to different political development and different cultural structure in the society. As shown in Fig. 1 of Chapter 2, most of Northwest Europe and North America supports Model 1: more participation leads to more trust. Obversely, Latin Americans have such low participation and trust that even if participation “works” for a few it misses the great majority. However, the model grows more complex when we shift to Korea, Portugal, and Eastern Europe, as the participation to trust path coefficient falls to zero: no impact. For some subgroups, the coefficient even becomes negative (Model 4). How can we codify these results and link them to our cumulative theorizing? This question cannot be answered with a simplistic generalization. Instead, we need to introduce a different conceptual framing to ask where and why and how much this happens.

In this chapter, we try to suggest various propositions to explain differences in civic participation in the three cities by using various concepts related to scenes.



Jang, W., Clark, T.N. and Byun, M. (2014), "Citizen Participation in Seoul, Tokyo, and Chicago", Can Tocqueville Karaoke? Global Contrasts of Citizen Participation, the Arts and Development (Research in Urban Policy, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 67-78.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Seoul Development Institute. Developed from Wonho Jang, Terry Nichols Clark, Miree Byun, (2011) Scenes Dynamics in Global Cities. Seoul: Seoul Development Institute