Abstract for:An Analysis of the Policy Dilemma on the Weir Opening of Four Major Rivers in South Korea

Korea’s ‘Four Major Rivers Restoration Project’ has continued to be controversial for more than one decade, all the way from the planning stage to the current stage of the weir opening. As a result, conflicts between stakeholders including the central government, local governments, environmental groups, and local residents have progressively intensified. The main controversy concerning the project arose from confrontations between the project’s pros and cons, which caused a number of issues including the securing of water, flood control, water quality improvement, and ecological restoration. In order to address the myriad of environmental problems generated by the project, the government proposed measures for dealing with the weir opening through environmental investigation. Nevertheless, policy decisions are enduring ongoing delays due to conflicts between stakeholders. As such, discussions pertaining to the weir opening of the four main rivers involve both complexity and uncertainty, and local governments may face a number of policy dilemmas. Therefore, new strategies must be sought for the sake of addressing those dilemmas. This study aims to determine in what way to solve the policy dilemma faced by local governments in relation to the central government’s policy of the weir opening of four major rivers based on systems thinking.