1st Edition

South Korean Identity and Global Foreign Policy Dream of Autonomy

By Patrick Flamm Copyright 2019
    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    In the 20th century, South Korea was usually seen as a "shrimp amongst whales", a minor player with limited agency in regional and global affairs. Korea’s risen status as a "middle power" today, however, begs the question about related changes in the South Korean identity or "sense of self" in the world.

    In this book, Patrick Flamm presents the first comprehensive and agency oriented empirical account of South Korean international state identity and Seoul’s global foreign policy in the 21st century. Advancing a performative and narrative understanding of identity in International Relations, Flamm uses South Korea’s global engagement in peacekeeping and climate diplomacy to offer much-needed insight into the various identity narratives and role conceptions at play. In the case of peacekeeping and climate diplomacy, South Korea’s identity as an international actor has been dominated by practices of self-identification that position the country at the brink of advanced countries, aspiring to lead the rest of the world but with the overall objective to maintain national autonomy in a changing regional and global context.

    South Korean Identity and Global Foreign Policy is a must-read for scholars of International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis and Asian/Korean Studies.

    1. Introduction 

    2. Korea in the World: Identity and Foreign Policy 

    3. Identity and Roles in International Relations 

    4. A Model for Inquiry into International State Identity 

    5. South Korea and Peacekeeping 

    6. South Korea and Climate Diplomacy 

    7. South Korea and Global Foreign Policy: Snapshots of Identity 

    8. Conclusion: Dream of Autonomy 


    Patrick Flamm is Lecturer in International Relations at the School of History,

    Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations at Victoria University

    of Wellington. His research interests are South Korea as a rising power in global

    affairs, identity and foreign policy, as well as international environmental and

    Antarctic politics. Patrick studied Political Science and International Relations

    at Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany, and Korea University, Republic of

    Korea, and holds a PhD in Asian Studies from the University of Auckland.