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)

Biography

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.

publications

Journal Articles
July 2020

South Korea's Democratic Decay

Author(s)
cover link South Korea's Democratic Decay
Journal Articles
August 2019

Skilled Migrants as Human and Social Capital in Korea

Author(s)
cover link Skilled Migrants as Human and Social Capital in Korea
Journal Articles
August 2019

Korea’s Migrants: From Homogeneity to Diversity – An Asian Survey Special Section

Author(s)
cover link Korea’s Migrants: From Homogeneity to Diversity – An Asian Survey Special Section

Current research

In The News

South Korea's main opposition Democratic Party (DP) leader Lee Jae-myung (C) and candidates, watches TVs broadcasting the results of exit polls for the parliamentary election at the National Assembly on April 10, 2024 in Seoul, South Korea.
Commentary

“Korea Is Facing a Crisis in Political Leadership”: Stanford Sociologist Gi-Wook Shin Unpacks the Korean Parliamentary Elections

Following the disappointing performance of South Korea’s ruling People Power Party in the April 10 parliamentary elections, Stanford sociologist and APARC Director Gi-Wook Shin analyzes the implications of the election outcomes for President Yoon’s domestic and foreign policies and Korean society and economy.
cover link “Korea Is Facing a Crisis in Political Leadership”: Stanford Sociologist Gi-Wook Shin Unpacks the Korean Parliamentary Elections
U.S. President Joe Biden (R) and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol shake hands during a joint press conference in the Rose Garden at the White House, April 26, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Commentary

Seventy Years Later, the U.S.-South Korea Alliance Is More Crucial Than Ever

Biden needs South Korean support for U.S. geopolitical efforts, whereas Yoon hopes to resolve contentious domestic issues with support from Biden.
cover link Seventy Years Later, the U.S.-South Korea Alliance Is More Crucial Than Ever
Gi-Wook Shin seated in his office during an interview
Commentary

Video Interview: Gi-Wook Shin Discusses the Economic and Geopolitical Implications of Mobile Talent

APARC and Korea Program Director Gi-Wook Shin joins Gita Wirjawan, a visiting scholar at the Center and host of the “Endgame” video podcast, to share his work on the ways in which countries in Asia and elsewhere can address brain drain, discuss the influence of soft power on South Korea's evolution, and consider the threats posed by demographic and democratic crises to the country’s future.
cover link Video Interview: Gi-Wook Shin Discusses the Economic and Geopolitical Implications of Mobile Talent

Selected Multimedia