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About the Korea Program

The Korea Program (formerly the Korean Studies Program (KSP)) was formally established in 2001 at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) with the appointment of Professor Gi-Wook Shin as the founding director. The Korea Program offers courses on Korea, hosts seminars related to the study of Korea, sponsors workshops and conferences, conducts research projects, supports fellowships, and collaborates with a broad range of visiting scholars. The Korea Program also works closely with Stanford's Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS), which offers a Master's Degree in East Asian Studies with a specialization in Korea.

"Since Gi-Wook Shin came to Stanford in 2001, he has developed Stanford KSP into a world-renowned center for contemporary Korean studies. Professor Shin and his colleagues conduct cutting-edge research and publish widely on issues related to the Korean peninsula and U.S.-Korean relations. Stanford KSP is training a new generation of Korea scholars, while working with policy experts in both countries to bridge divides. The presence and participation of distinguished visiting scholars and policymakers further enrich the program. In its second decade, Stanford KSP is poised to significantly expand its global scope and influence." - Coit D. Blacker, Director Emeritus, FSI

The Korea Program focuses on multidisciplinary, social science-oriented, collaborative research on policy-relevant topics on Korea. Unlike programs that operate within a single discipline, the Korea Program promotes interdisciplinary research by using the tools and insights of both area studies and the social sciences. The Korea Program's mission is to be a research center in the truest sense, with its own research fellows and collaborative projects. It also seeks close collaboration with similar institutions in Korea and elsewhere.

Faculty and Fellows

The Korea Program includes faculty, postdoctoral research fellows, predoctoral fellows, Pantech Fellows, Koret Fellows, research assistants, and a program manager. A Korean language lecturer and Korean Studies librarian also support program activities. In addition, the Korea Program taps into the array of Stanford-based faculty and senior fellows who conduct policy-related research on Korea, including William J. Perry (Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies), Michael Armacost (Shorenstein APARC), Henry F. Rowen (Hoover Institution and Shorenstein APARC), Larry Diamond (Hoover Institution), and Siegfried S. Hecker (CISAC). The program benefits greatly from the broad experience of these distinguished individuals offer and the real-world perspective they bring to bear on Korea Program seminars, conferences, teaching, and publications.


The Korea Program sponsors collaborative research projects on a range of Korea-related subjects. The South Korean National Assembly Project considers the generational change under way in South Korea’s government and its political and ideological implications, specifically how such changes affect Assembly votes—and Korean policy—on major issues. Stanford KSP researchers are also involved in projects on mass media and U.S.-Korea relations. These include the "New Beginnings" policy research initiative and the ROK-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum, the Korean experience of historical injustice and reconciliation, and a book series on Korean democratization sponsored by the Academy of Korean Studies.  A recently completed project focused on the interplay of global and regional forces in Korea, and on South Koreans’ reassessment of their place in the world order. Findings from these and other groundbreaking projects are regularly presented at Korea Program seminars and conferences, and published as books and journal articles.


To advance its mission of teaching and training the next generation of scholars, the Korea Program each year offers a variety of fellowships and hosts visiting scholars from Korea and elsewhere.  Fellowships are made possible through generous support from the Pantech Group and the Koret Foundation.  Jointly with Stanford’s Center for East Asian Studies, the Korea Program has initiated a Korea internship program and regularly convenes popular overseas seminars in Seoul, which enable Stanford undergraduates to experience Korean politics, history, and culture first-hand.

In addition, the Korea Program hosts Korean luncheon seminars, often standing-room-only events, which eminent and emerging scholars present their work. The program organizes a number of workshops and conferences on Korean affairs each year, and the proceedings of these gatherings, as well as other research outcomes, are published as part of Shorenstein APARC's book series with the Brookings Institution Press and Stanford University Press.

The Korea Program was also the editorial home to the Journal of Korean Studies (JKS). Long a leading academic forum for the publication of innovative and in-depth research, the JKS was dedicated to high-quality articles, in all disciplines, on a broad range of topics concerning Korea, both historical and contemporary. The journal was published and distributed annually by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.

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