Browse Cases

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U.S. officials nonviolently intervene in South Korea to protect leading dissident Kim Dae Jung, 1985

Country
South Korea
United States
Time period
6 February, 1985 to 22 Febuary, 1985
Classification
Third-party nonviolent intervention
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Peace
Total points
8 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Natalia Choi and Mackenzie Welch, 20/03/2012

South Korea experienced political turmoil in the decades following the Korean War under the rule of several autocratic leaders who severely limited political freedom in society. As S. Korea was a crucial ally against the expansion of communism, the U.S. government was wary of being openly critical of the corrupt S. Korean government. However, the U.S. no longer could ignore the violation of human rights in South Korea when Kim Dae Jung, a leading pro-democracy dissident, sought U.S. assistance in his return from exile to Korea in 1985.

Burmese citizens campaign for democracy, 1988

Country
Burma
Myanmar
Time period
March, 1988 to November, 1988
Classification
Change
Cluster
Human Rights
Economic Justice
Democracy
Total points
6 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Sarah Noble, 09/06/2009

By the year 1988, political, social and economic life in Burma was under the repressive military rule of the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP), headed by General Ne Win.  Since the military coup in 1962, the Burmese had been subjected to extreme socioeconomic isolation and heavy state control that extended from the media and universities to social events and monasteries. Although citizens, and in particular students, protested throughout the 60’s, violent repression was enough to cease all opposition until 1987 when unrest began to stir once again within the Burmese population.

South Koreans win mass campaign for democracy, 1986-87

Country
South Korea
Time period
January, 1986 to June, 1987
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
9 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
George Lakey, 10/06/2009

The massive South Korean nonviolent campaign against the tradition of authoritarian regimes happened only seven years after the notorious Kwangju Massacre of 1980—governmental mass violence that was intended to shut down completely the movements for social justice.  

From 1980 to 1983 the government tried to “cleanse” the society of activists, purging or arresting thousands of public officials, politicians, professors, teachers, pastors, journalists, and students.  Activists not arrested went quiet or continued their activities in low profile or secretive ways.

Mongolians win multi-party democracy, 1989-1990

Country
Mongolia
Time period
December 10, 1989 to May 10, 1990
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
National/Ethnic Identity
Total points
10 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Jasper Goldberg and Max Rennebohm, 01/12/2009 and 23/05/2011

In 1921 the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) came to power and soon aligned the country with the USSR. Until this democracy campaign in 1989, the MPRP ruled Mongolia through a constitutionally-sanctioned single-party government. By the mid-1980’s, pro-reform sentiments and movements were spreading in Eastern Europe, especially at the universities. However, Mongolians remained isolated from all of this except for the few students who could afford to study abroad in Eastern Europe.

Chinese students campaign for democratic reform (Tiananmen Square), 1989

Country
China
Time period
April 15, 1989 to June 4, 1989
Classification
Change
Cluster
Democracy
Human Rights
Total points
4 out of 10 points
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy
Nida Atshan and Aden Tedla, 21/03/2010

During the second half of the 20th century, Chinese society experienced profound and tumultuous changes. Communist rule was declared in 1949, and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s resulted in much social and economic upheaval. Students were particularly hard hit by the changes made during the Cultural Revolution as university funding decreased and education quality deteriorated. Student resentment towards the Communist government was further exacerbated by the practices of nepotism and profiteering among party officials.