Shin’s Reflections on Korea

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Shin’s Reflections on Korea

A monthly series of essays by Gi-Wook Shin about contemporary issues in Korea, published by Sindonga (New East Asia), Korea’s oldest monthly magazine.

Gi-Wook Shin
Gi-Wook Shin is the director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea in the Sociology Department and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is the author/editor of 25 books, including South Korea's Democracy in Crisis and Ethnic Nationalism in KoreaExplore more of his analysis of the future of Korean democracy.

In the Wake of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, Korea Should Join Its Peers in Defending the Liberal International Order

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the South Korean parliament via video link.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the South Korean parliament via video link at the National Assembly on April 11, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/ Getty Images

If the international order undergoes a fundamental realignment as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there will be significant ramifications for South Korea. To successfully chart a safe course for South Korea in its foreign relations, the Yoon Suk-Yeol government must be highly attuned to the twists and turns of today’s geopolitical undercurrents. A new international order defined by an ideological struggle between democracy and authoritarianism will leave no room for strategic ambiguity, Seoul’s hitherto strategy for balancing its relationships with the U.S. and China. Continue reading >>

In Troubled Waters: South Korea’s Democracy in Crisis

Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a press conference
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a press conference on March 20, 2022 in Seoul, South Korea. Yoon announced his decision to move the presidential office to the defense ministry compound in Seoul’s central district of Yongsan immediately after his inauguration on May 10. Jung Yeon-Je/ Getty Images

This essay seeks not only to evaluate the decline of South Korea’s democracy over the past 10 years from a comparative perspective but also to provide an outside view of the historic tasks facing the Yoon administration as it prepares to set sail. Continue reading >>

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