South Korean Engagement Policies and North Korea: Identities, Norms and the Sunshine Policy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

South Korean Engagement Policies and North Korea

Identities, Norms and the Sunshine Policy, 1st Edition

By Key-young Son


252 pages

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A fresh historical and theoretical exploration of the much-debated, but still elusive, question of the Korean divide. In contrast to much of the literature on the divide, which deals with state-building on the two sides of the Demilitarized Zone, this book sheds light on the slow, but steady process of homogenization between the two estranged peoples, as accelerated after the end of the Cold War and especially after the inauguration of President Kim Dae-jung in 1998.

Providing immense empirical detail as well as theoretical debate on the ideas in policy shaping in South Korea, the book presents a rich ‘history of enemies’ and covers issues including:

  • an overview of the structural shift and the rise and fall of identity groups in South Korea
  • history of 'enemy-making' and 'peace-building'
  • North Korea's external relations with the US, Japan and Europe
  • Hyundai's groundbreaking, cross-border tourism and other economic cooperation projects
  • the lingering nuclear weapons crises.

By focusing on the question of identities, the book presents a new approach on one of the most important legacies of the Cold War and threat to peace in the contemporary world: the divided Korean peninsula. As such it fills a major gap in the literature, utilizing new theoretical and empirical frameworks to deal with the Korean division and its future implications in East Asia.


'Son's work is an excellent resource for scholars and students of Korea and, more broadly, for international relations students who not only want to understand the Korean Peninsula but to study issues of engagement and identity.' - Korean Studies Review

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Theorizing Comprehensive Engagement 1. The Concepts of Containment and Engagement 2. Does Comprehensive Engagement Exist in International Politics? 3. The Conceptual Framework of Comprehensive Engagement Part 2: Operationalizing Comprehensive Engagement 4. Hyundai Projects and the Inter-Korean Summit: A By-Product or A Buy-Out? 5. North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions: A Bargaining Chip or A Bargaining Goal? Conclusion

About the Series

Politics in Asia

Politics in Asia
Politics in Asia has long been established as a source of distinctive and authoritative studies on the political life of Asia. The series covers a broad range of countries and aspects of politics, and includes volumes from some of the leading scholars working in the field.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / Korea
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General