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Shale Horowitz and Sunwoong Kim, "Public Interest 'Blackballing' in South Korea's Elections," Party Politics, 8 (September 2002," 541-562.

First Paragraph:
South Korea's April 2000 legislative elections achieved unusual international notoriety because of the apparently strong impact of an unusual type of public interest organization, the Citizens' Alliance for the 2000 General Elections. The Citizens' Alliance (CA) did not endorse candidates, but rather 'blackballed' candidates that its affiliates identified as unfit. Remarkably, 59 of the 86 blackballed candidates lost. The resulting media sensation raises two important questions about CA. First, did blackballed candidates tend to lose largely because CA blackballed them, or was the impact of blackballing insignificant relative to other factors? Second, to the extent CA did have a significant impact, under what conditions are its methods most likely to be successfully replicated? Is CA just an exotic creature fit to flourish once or twice in a specifically Korean setting, or is it a technological innovation in politics that will in due time become an important feature of many democratic systems?

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Predictors of candidate vote shares in the April 2000 elections
Table 2. Predictors of candidate victory in the April 2000 elections (probit)

Last Paragraph:
Can CA's success be easily replicated? Prediction is of course a hazardous enterprise. But, tentatively, we do not believe that this is likely. We do not believe that the primary obstacles lie either with public demand or with the characteristics of organizations. Particularly in transitional political periods in which elements of the old regime have been widely discredited, the public is likely to be looking for CA-like information. Nor is it prohibitively diffi- cult to copy the organization and methods of CA. Rather, it is the political opening that seems likely to be most rare and fleeting. To the extent the dominant party or parties are not yet adequately policing themselves, activists like those who built CA are typically likely to construct an alternative party with a clean governance appeal. Once the ruling party or parties seriously begin to reform themselves, such alternative parties lose much of their initial (often overwhelming) appeal. In other words, groups with CAlike character and appeal do not emerge more often in transitional political conditions because they usually enter the political fray more directly. By disciplining the old ruling party or parties, this direct competition in turn closes the window of opportunity in which broad-based, non-partisan organizations like CA are more likely to have dramatic impacts on voting behavior.