The chapter focuses on the contentious dynamics among contending political actors during the transition period in greater detail, and argues that the narrow base of transitory politics and the exclusionary nature of democracy, with all their political and distributional implications, constituted the essence of conservative transition that laid the groundwork for defiant institutionalization. It examines the unfolding of events that comprised the critical moment of South Korea's transition to democracy in order to unpack the dynamics that led to this imperfect solution. The author's argument is plain and simple: workers, farmers, and disadvantaged South Koreans continued to engage in unruly protest politics in post-authoritarian South Korea because their interests and demands were marginalized from the new political framework. The chapter looks into the phase of political liberalization that laid the groundwork for the democratic transition in June 1987, with a special focus on identifying diverse political groups that are usually blanketed under civil society.