One of the most persistent areas of discussion regarding South Korea's party and election systems is the continued elevation of regional personalities over political institutions. We seek to pour new wine into old bottles, however, by challenging a seldom-considered assumption in Korean studies; that regionalism has exerted constant pressures across regime, province, and personality. There is a void in studying how transition to democracy has affected the dominance of personality-based regionalism in Korean politics. We investigate democratization's impact on this phenomenon by examining the provincial distribution of legislative and presidential voting from 1971-2002. We employ a new indicator for personality-based disproportionality, apply it to election outcomes at the provincial level, and find that the electoral impact of regionalism has changed over time across regimes, provinces, and political personalities. We find that regional voting disproportionality 1) increased immediately after transition; 2) has varied depending on personality and type of election; 3) is indeed low in provinces traditionally labeled as neutral; and 4) increased in the 2000 legislative election while declining in the 2002 presidential election.
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