Gi-Wook Shin

Headshot of Gi Wook Shin

Gi-Wook Shin, PhD

  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Professor of Sociology
  • William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea
  • Professor, by Courtesy, of East Asian Languages & Cultures
  • Director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Director of the Korea Program
Shorenstein APARC
Encina Hall E301
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6055
(650) 723-2408 (voice)
(650) 723-6530 (fax)


Gi-Wook Shin is the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea in Sociology; senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; the director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center since 2005; and the founding director of the Korea Program, all at Stanford University. As a historical-comparative and political sociologist, his research has concentrated on social movements, nationalism, development, democracy, and international relations.

Shin is the author/editor of twenty-five books and numerous articles. His recent books include Korean Democracy in Crisis: The Threat of Illiberalism, Populism, and Polarization (2022); The North Korean Conundrum: Balancing Human Rights and Nuclear Security (2021); Demographics and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific (2021); Shifting Gears in Innovation Policy from Asia (2020); Strategic, Policy and Social Innovation for a Post-Industrial Korea: Beyond the Miracle (2018); Superficial Korea (2017); Divergent Memories: Opinion Leaders and the Asia-Pacific War (2016); Global Talent: Skilled Labor as Social Capital in Korea (2015); Criminality, Collaboration, and Reconciliation: Europe and Asia Confronts the Memory of World War II (2014); New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan (2014); Asia’s Middle Powers? (2013); Troubled Transition: North Korea's Politics, Economy, and External Relations (2013); History Textbooks and the Wars in Asia: Divided Memories (2011); South Korean Social Movements: From Democracy to Civil Society (2011); One Alliance, Two Lenses: U.S.-Korea Relations in a New Era (2010); Cross Currents: Regionalism and Nationalism in Northeast Asia (2007); Rethinking Historical Injustice and Reconciliation in Northeast Asia (2006); and Ethnic Nationalism in Korea: Genealogy, Politics, and Legacy (2006). Due to the wide popularity of his publications, many have been translated and distributed to Korean audiences. His articles have appeared in academic journals including American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Political Science Quarterly, International Sociology, Nations and Nationalism, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey, and Journal of Democracy

Shin is currently writing two books– Next Korea (in Korean and English) and Talent Giants in the Asia-Pacific Century. The former is based on his monthly columns published in Shindonga, Korea’s oldest monthly magazine, that addressed main challenges and solutions for Korea’s future. The latter is a comparative study of talent strategies of Japan, Australia, China, and India that were instrumental to their rise. In Summer 2023, Shin launched the Stanford Next Asia Policy Lab (SNAPL), which is a new initiative committed to addressing emergent social, cultural, economic, and political challenges in Asia. Across four research themes– “Talent Flows and Development,” “Nationalism and Racism,” “U.S.-Asia Relations,” and “Democratic Crisis and Reform”–the lab will bring scholars on Asia to produce interdisciplinary, problem-oriented, policy-relevant, and comparative studies and publications. 

Shin is not only the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, but also continues to actively raise funds for Korean/Asian studies at Stanford. He gives frequent lectures and seminars on topics ranging from Korean nationalism and politics to Korea's foreign relations and historical reconciliation in Northeast Asia and to talent strategies. He serves on councils and advisory boards in the United States and South Korea and promotes policy dialogue between the two allies. He regularly writes op-eds and gives interviews to the media in both Korean and English.

Before coming to Stanford in 2001, Shin taught at the University of Iowa (1991-94) and the University of California, Los Angeles (1994-2001). After receiving his BA from Yonsei University in Korea, he was awarded his MA and PhD from the University of Washington in 1991.


June 2022

South Korea’s Democracy in Crisis

cover link South Korea’s Democracy in Crisis
October 2021

The North Korean Conundrum

cover link The North Korean Conundrum
May 2021

Demographics and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific

cover link Demographics and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific

Current research

In The News

Dancers perform upon a giant globe.

Flow of Talent Among Asia-Pacific Nations Would Revitalize the Economy and National Security

Depopulation is a concern shared by Japan and South Korea. Immigration of high-skilled labor could be a solution for mitigating it. In this regard, Japan SPOTLIGHT interviewed Prof. Gi-Wook Shin, who is working on a new research initiative seeking to examine the potential benefits of talent flows in the Asia-Pacific region.
cover link Flow of Talent Among Asia-Pacific Nations Would Revitalize the Economy and National Security
Gi-Wook Shin and Francis Fukuyama at Encina Hall, Stanford, in conversation.

A Resurgence of Democracy?

A Conversation with Francis Fukuyama on the Challenges of a Changing Global Order
cover link A Resurgence of Democracy?

Stanford's Shin on Kim Jong Il's death and what's next for North Korea

cover link Stanford's Shin on Kim Jong Il's death and what's next for North Korea

Selected Multimedia