APARC - Korea Publications

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Publications

Rigorous analysis of political, economic, social, and foreign policy concerns in the Koreas and U.S.-Korean relations for the academic community, foreign policy experts, and the interested public.

Korea Program faculty and fellows regularly author books, book chapters, working papers, and policy recommendations, and we share the outcomes of our research projects and the proceedings of our conferences, workshops, and policy outreach activities in policy briefs and edited volumes. These are issued through the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center’s publishing program and distributed by Stanford University Press and the Brookings Institution. Our scholars also publish extensively in peer-reviewed academic journals and in scholarly and trade presses. Browse our publications below.

 

Publication Spotlight

In his new book, 'Being in North Korea,' our former Koret Fellow in Korean Studies Andray Abrahamian explores the question "What is it like there?" in an honest and oftentimes amusing way, drawing on his extensive in-country experience.

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Policy Brief

Thirteenth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

2015

The thirteenth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum, held in Seoul on December 11, 2014, convened senior South Korean and American policymakers, scholars and regional experts to discuss North Korea policy and recent developments in the Korean peninsula. Hosted by the Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, the Forum is also supported by the Korea National Diplomatic Academy.

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Book

Unexpected Alliances: Independent Filmmakers, the State, and the Film Industry in Postauthoritarian South Korea

Young-A Park
Stanford University Press , 2014

Since 1999, South Korean films have dominated roughly 40 to 60 percent of the Korean domestic box-office, matching or even surpassing Hollywood films in popularity. Why is this, and how did it come about? In Unexpected Alliances, Young-a Park seeks to answer these questions by exploring the cultural and institutional roots of the Korean film industry's phenomenal success in the context of Korea's political transition in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The book investigates the unprecedented interplay between independent filmmakers, the state, and the mainstream film industry under the post-authoritarian administrations of Kim Dae Jung (1998–2003) and Roh Moo Hyun (2003–2008), and shows how these alliances were critical in the making of today's Korean film industry.

During South Korea's post-authoritarian reform era, independent filmmakers with activist backgrounds were able to mobilize and transform themselves into important players in state cultural institutions and in negotiations with the purveyors of capital. Instead of simply labeling the alliances "selling out" or "co-optation," this book explores the new spaces, institutions, and conversations which emerged and shows how independent filmmakers played a key role in national protests against trade liberalization, actively contributing to the creation of the very idea of a "Korean national cinema" worthy of protection. Independent filmmakers changed not only the film institutions and policies but the ways in which people produce, consume, and think about film in South Korea.
 
Unexpected Alliances is one of several books produced by the Stanford Korea Democracy Project at Shorenstein APARC's Korea Program.
 
About the author
Young-a Park is an assistant professor of the Asian Studies Program at University of Hawai'i at Manoa.

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Policy Brief

Tailored Engagement: Toward an Effective and Sustainable Inter-Korean Relations Policy

Gi-Wook Shin, David Straub, Joyce Lee
2014

"Tailored Engagement" is a result of research and an earlier report by faculty members and researchers at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) at Stanford University. The authors, Gi-Wook Shin, the director the Shorenstein APARC; David Straub, the associate director of the Korea Program; and Joyce Lee, the research associate for the Korea Program, write that they "hope this study will serve as a useful reference for leaders and citizens of the Republic of Korea as well as contribute to the global discussion about how to ensure peace, security and prosperity in Northeast Asia."

 

Contents:

  • Introduction

  • Policy Parameters of Major Players

  • President Park's North Korea Policy

  • The Policy Context

  • Toward Tailored Engagement

  • Engaging North Korea

 

A summary of the report is also available in Korean.

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Working Paper

People with Disabilities in a Changing North Korea

Katharina Zellweger
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2014

"People with Disabilities in a Changing North Korea" details the situation that people with disabilities face in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK). Despite its reputation as a repressive, closed society where human rights are routinely abused, there are in fact institutions in the DPRK that work to address the needs of the disabled, and a number of non-governmental organizations providing aid to disabled people are active in the country.

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Book

New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan

Larry Diamond, Gi-Wook Shin
Stanford University Press , 2014

New Challenges for Maturing Democracies in Korea and Taiwan takes a creative and comparative view of the new challenges and dynamics confronting these maturing democracies.

Numerous works deal with political change in the two societies individually, but few adopt a comparative approach—and most focus mainly on the emergence of democracy or the politics of the democratization processes. This book, utilizing a broad, interdisciplinary approach, pays careful attention to post-democratization phenomena and the key issues that arise in maturing democracies.

“As two paradigmatic cases of democratic development, Korea and Taiwan are often seen as exemplars of both modernization and democratization. This volume both contributes and moves beyond this focus, looking forward to assess the maturation but also the risks to democracy in both countries. With its strong comparative focus and a sober appreciation of how hard it can be not to just to attain but to sustain democracy, it represents a major contribution."  

     — Benjamin Reilly, Dean, Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University

What emerges is a picture of two evolving democracies, now secure, but still imperfect and at times disappointing to their citizens—a common feature and challenge of democratic maturation. The book demonstrates that it will fall to the elected political leaders of these two countries to rise above narrow and immediate party interests to mobilize consensus and craft policies that will guide the structural adaptation and reinvigoration of the society and economy in an era that clearly presents for both countries not only steep challenges but also new opportunities.

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Larry Diamond is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford. He is also Director of Stanford's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Gi-Wook Shin is Director of the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, the Tong Yang, Korea Foundation, and Korea Stanford Alumni Chair of Korean Studies, and Professor of Sociology at Stanford.

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Policy Brief

Tenth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2013

The Tenth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum was held at Stanford University on June 28, 2013. Established in 2006 by Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Center (Shorenstein APARC), and now convening twice annually and alternating in venue between Stanford and Seoul, the forum brings together distinguished South Korean (Republic of Korea, or ROK) and U.S. West Coast–based American scholars, experts, and former military and civilian officials to discuss North Korea, the U.S.-ROK alliance, and regional dynamics in Northeast Asia.

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Book

Troubled Transition: North Korea's Politics, Economy and External Relations

Sang-Hun Choe, Gi-Wook Shin, David Straub
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2013

Kim Jong-il once declared he would transform North Korea into a "great and powerful country" by 2012, apparently believing that nuclear weapons would compel the international community to engage on his terms. With no such prospect in sight, North Korea faces a multitude of intractable problems. Will North Koreans accept his son as their leader, and will he embrace new thinking to solve the country's problems? Why do North Korean leaders resist reform of an economic system that impoverishes the people? Can a country so dependent on outside help continue to defy the international community?

In Troubled Transition, leading international experts examine these dilemmas, offering new insights into how a troubled North Korea may evolve in light of the ways other command economies and totalitarian states--from the Soviet Union and East Germany to Vietnam and China--have transitioned.

The publication of Troubled Transition was made possible by the generosity of the Koret Foundation of San Francisco, CA.

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

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Book

Asia's Middle Powers? The Identity and Regional Policy of South Korea and Vietnam

Joon-woo Park, Gi-Wook Shin, Don Keyser
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2013

South Korea and Vietnam established diplomatic relations only twenty years ago. Today these former adversaries enjoy unexpectedly cordial and rapidly expanding bilateral ties. Leaders of the two nations—perceiving broadly shared interests and no fundamental conflicts—seek to leverage their subregional influence on behalf of common or complementary policy goals. Today they often profess a “middle power” identity as they explain their foreign policy in terms of such classical middle power goals as regional peace, integration, and common goods.

Broadly similar in many respects, South Korea and Vietnam are nonetheless sufficiently different that a comparison can yield interesting insights—yet there is a dearth of systematic comparative work on the two. While holding a range of views on the contentious concepts of middle power and national identity, the contributors to Asia’s Middle Powers? help readers, both academic and policy practitioners, to gain an enhanced appreciation of South Korea and Vietnam’s regional behavior and international strategies

The publication of Asia's Middle Powers was made possible by the generosity of the Koret Foundation of San Francisco, CA.

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

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Policy Brief

The North Korea Problem and the Necessity for South Korean Leadership

Gi-Wook Shin, Karl Eikenberry, Thomas Fingar, Daniel C. Sneider, David Straub
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2013

This report by scholars and policy experts at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center is based in part on (1) their research for a Yonhap News Agency-sponsored symposium on Northeast Asia security in Seoul in early February, when they also held meetings with then-President Lee Myung-bak and President-elect Park Geun-hye and her chief foreign policy advisers, as well as with leading South Korean progressive intellectuals; and (2) a workshop on North Korea policy at Stanford University on February 14–15, supported by the Koret Foundation of San Francisco, which included top current and former U.S., South Korean, and UN officials and leading academic experts on the Korea problem.

The publication of "The North Korea Problem" was made possible by the generosity of the Koret Foundation of San Francisco, CA.

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Policy Brief

Ninth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2012

The Ninth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum was held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on November 13, 2012, hosted by the Sejong Institute. The Ninth Forum’s three sessions focused on the implications of major leadership changes in the United States, South and North Korea, and China.

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Policy Brief

Eighth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2012

The eighth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum was held at Stanford University on June 1, 2012. Established in 2006 and now convening semiannually alternately in Stanford and Seoul, the Forum brings together a distinguished group of South Korean (Republic of Korea, or ROK) and American scholars, experts, and former military and

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Policy Brief

Seventh Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2012

The Sejong Institute of Korea hosted the seventh session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on December 13, 2011. Established in 2006 by Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC), the Forum brings together distinguished South Korean (Republic of Korea, or ROK) and American scholars, experts, and former military and civilian officials to discuss North Korea, the U.S.-ROK alliance, and regional dynamics in Northeast Asia.

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Working Paper

South Korea and the Global Economy in Transition

Gi-Wook Shin, Byongwon Bahk, Taeho Bark, Thomas F. Cargill, Joon Nak Choi, Eun Mee Kim, Ji Hyun Kim
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2012

These working papers on the South Korean economy are the product of an annual conference series on Korean affairs hosted by Stanford University's Korean Studies Program (KSP), and made possible by the generous support of the Koret Foundation. KSP's 2009–2010 Koret Fellow, Byongwon Bahk, a former vice finance minister and chief economic adviser to Korean president Lee Myung-bak, played a leading role in organizing the 2010 conference, authored a major paper, and co-edited this volume.

From Byongwon Bahk's preface:

The editors believe that the study of the South Korean economy holds, or should hold, interest not only for Koreans but also for Americans and the international community as a whole. Korea has become a major player in the global economy, ranking thirteenth in GDP and seventh in exports among the world's nearly 200 countries. This should no longer come as much of a surprise to consumers across the globe who use Korean cell phones, drive Korean cars, and, increasingly, enjoy Korean pop music and movies.

The Korean economy is also important as a leading model of development. In only two generations and despite national division and the devastation of civil war, South Korea has transformed itself from a largely agricultural economy to a world leader in manufacturing, which in turn facilitated its emergence as a dynamic democracy. The Korean experience holds many lessons for countries throughout the world as they also struggle to modernize in a highly competitive, globalized economy.

Korea's success in navigating the turmoil caused by the global financial crisis and recession of 2008–2009 is yet another reason for studying its economy. Despite its economy being an astounding 85 percent dependent on international trade, Korea has been among the world's leaders in recovering from the crisis. Korea owes that success in part to the very hard lessons it learned from the Asian financial crisis of 1997–1998.

The five chapters selected for this compendium focus on some of the timeliest and most important issues involving the Korean economy.

Papers included in this volume:

  1. "The Changing Global and Korean Economies" by Taeho Bark
  2. "An Odyssey of the Korean Financial System and the September 2008 Financial Shock" by Thomas F. Cargill
  3. "South Korea’s Official Development Assistance Policy Under Lee Myung-bak: Humanitarian or National Interest?" by Eun Mee Kim and Ji Hyun Kim
  4. "Policy Recommendations for the Korean Economy" by Byongwon Bahk
  5. "Economic Globalization and Expatriate Labor in Korea" by Gi-Wook Shin and Joon Nak Choi
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Journal Article

The Election That Could Reorder South Korea’s Politics

Gi-Wook Shin
Current History , 2012

This year is one of elections and leadership changes throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Earlier in 2012, Taiwan reelected President Ma Ying-jeou to a second term. North Korea and
Russia have already seen transfers of power this year; it will be China’s turn in the fall. The United States holds its presidential election in November. And South Korea will elect a president in December. Individually and collectively, these leadership changes hold crucial implications for Northeast Asian nations as well as the United States.

In this article, Gi-Wook Shin explores the possible implications of South Korea's upcoming presidential election.

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Book

Adapt, Fragment, Transform: Corporate Restructuring and System Reform in South Korea

Byung-Kook Kim, Eun Mee Kim, Jean Oi
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2012

South Korea remains a puzzle for political economists. The country has experienced phenomenal economic growth since the 1960s, but its upward trajectory has been repeatedly diverted by serious systemic crises, followed by spectacular recoveries. The recoveries are often the result of vigorous structural reforms that nonetheless retain many of South Korea's traditional economic institutions. How, then, can South Korea suffer from persistent systemic instability and yet prove so resilient? What remains the same and what changes?

The contributors to this volume consider the South Korean economy in its larger political context. Moving beyond the easy dichotomies—equilibrium vs. disequilibrium and stability vs. instability—they describe a complex and surprisingly robust economic and political system. Further, they argue that neither systemic challenges nor political pressures alone determine South Korea's stability and capacity for change. Instead, it is distinct patterns of interaction that shape this system's characteristics, development, and evolution.

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

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Book

Only Beautiful, Please: A British Diplomat in North Korea

John Everard
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2012

Coverage of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) all too often focuses solely on nuclear proliferation, military parades, and the personality cult around its leaders. As the British ambassador to North Korea, John Everard had the rare experience of living there from 2006, when the DPRK conducted its first nuclear test, to 2008, just before Kim Jong Il’s stroke. While stationed in Pyongyang, Everard’s travels around the DPRK provided him with numerous opportunities to meet and converse with North Koreans.

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Book

Peacemaker: Twenty Years of Inter-Korean Relations and the North Korean Nuclear Issue

Lim Dong-won
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2012

More than two decades after the cold war ended elsewhere, it continues undiminished on the Korean Peninsula. The division of the Korean nation into competing North and South Korean states and the destructive war that followed constitute one of the great, and still unresolved, tragedies of the twentieth century. Peacemaker is the memoir of Lim Dong-won, former South Korean unification minister and architect of Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae-jung's Sunshine policy toward North Korea.

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Book

Democracy after Democratization: The Korean Experience

Jang-Jip Choi
Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center , 2012

Half a century since the adoption of democracy in South Korea, the Korean people's high hopes for popular governance have not been met. There is widespread skepticism about what Korea's implementation of democracy has brought to the nation and whether it will be able to respond effectively in the future to the demands of an evolving society and world. What accounts for the conservative complacency of Korea's democratic system? Why do democratic administrations in Korea seem so incompetent?

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Journal Article

The Economic Opportunities and Constraints of Green Growth - The Case of South Korea

Jae-Seung Lee
Asie.Visions 50, Ifri, France , 2012

Please visit here for the paper.

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Policy Brief

Sixth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2011

The sixth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum was held in the Bechtel Conference Center at Stanford University on June 8, 2011. Established in 2006 by Stanford University and now convening semi-annually alternating between Stanford and Seoul, the Forum brings together distinguished South Korean (Republic of Korea, or ROK) and American scholars, experts, and former military and civilian officials to discuss North Korea, the U.S.-ROK alliance, and regional dynamics in Northeast Asia. Stanford University’s Walter H.

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Policy Brief

Fifth Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum

Shorenstein APARC , 2011

The fifth session of the Korea-U.S. West Coast Strategic Forum, held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea (Republic of Korea, or ROK), on December 1, 2010, brought together distinguished Korean and American scholars, experts, and former diplomats to discuss North Korea, the U.S.-ROK alliance, and regional dynamics in Northeast Asia. The Sejong Institute organized the Forum in association with Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

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Book

U.S.-DPRK Educational Exchanges: Assessment and Future Strategy

Gi-Wook Shin, Karin J. Lee
Shorenstein APARC , 2011

Although there are no formal diplomatic relations between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), nonetheless there have been constant attempts by U.S. academia, friendship organizations, and NGOs to develop and promote educational interaction and exchanges between the citizens of these two countries. Have these attempts found success? What lessons can be learned from these experiences?

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Book

Beyond North Korea: Future Challenges to South Korea's Security

Byung Kwan Kim, Gi-Wook Shin, David Straub
Shorenstein APARC, distributed by the Brookings Institution Press , 2011

Why should Americans worry about South Korean security? The answer is clear: North Korea, and beyond. Most international attention to the North Korea problem has focused on U.S. policy, but South Korea's longterm role may in fact be more important. South Korea's security is vital to peace and stability, not only in Northeast Asia but also the wider world.

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Working Paper

U.S.-ROK Relations and the Role of the Korean-American Community

Joon-woo Park
The National Unification Advisory Council , 2011

During the North American Chasedae Forum, 2011 Koret Fellow Joon-woo Park stated: "[...As the United States and Korea] grow closer together, the role of the Korean-American community becomes crucial for the future of U.S.-ROK relations." The forum, held November 4-6, 2011, was organized by the San Francisco Chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council.


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Journal Article

Anti-American and Anti-Alliance Sentiments in South Korea

Gi-Wook Shin, Hilary Izatt
Asian Survey , 2011

The strain between the United States and the Republic of Korea is often seen as a result of South Korea's anti-Americanism. However, alliance strain and anti-Americanism have not necessarily changed together. This conceptual disparity calls for the need to specify, rather than assume, causality. The authors utilize newly collected data from two major Korean dailies to show this need.

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