The Politics and International Relations of Modern Korea

Edited by John Nilsson-Wright

© 2016 – Routledge

1,288 pages | 53 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415462914
pub: 2015-12-18
Available for pre-order

About the Book

As the locus of Great Power rivalry in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the battleground for the first ‘hot’ conflict of the early Cold War, and—in the case of the contemporary challenge of a nuclear North Korea—one of the most potentially destabilizing threats to regional security, the Korean peninsula is critical in understanding the history, politics, and international relations of Asia. However, Korea’s importance is not confined to issues of security and international conflict. The dramatic growth of South Korea, propelling it from the status of an underdeveloped and war-ravaged country to the world’s eleventh largest economy in the space of some thirty years, has been the subject of intense scrutiny by economists, political scientists, and sociologists. Understanding its rapid economic growth is important not only in assessing the nature of modern capitalism, but also in realizing the lessons of development that potentially can be applied to the economic challenges and opportunities faced by the developing world.

Modernization is not merely an economic concept. South Korea’s experience of political transition from authoritarian military-led rule to a democratic system of government in the late 1980s arguably represents one of Asia’s most important twentieth-century political success stories. To political scientists, the South Korean political case raises fascinating questions about the nature of political legitimacy, as well as revealing potential contradictions. If political change has been a dominant theme in recent developments in South Korea, political stasis appears to be the norm in North Korea, where the cult of the leader and the dynastic rule of the Kim family have arguably restricted political activity to the informal and non-transparent competition for influence among those close to the leadership.

Both Koreas find themselves confronting a rapidly changing and fluid international environment. For South Korea, salient issues include how to manage its core alliance relations, most notably with the United States and how far it should move closer to China’s economic and political orbit. For North Korea, the key diplomatic challenge is managing the post-Cold War erosion of its old alliance partnerships, while finding a mechanism for engaging with the wider world.

This new collection from Routledge addresses thematically four broad sets of issues which are essential to understand the political and economic development of the two Koreas in the modern era. The collection is divided as follows: Volume I: Conflict on the Korean Peninsula (from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first century); Volume II: Economic Development in North and South Korea; Volume III: Political Systems, Legitimacy, and the State in the Two Koreas; and Volume IV: The Foreign Relations of Contemporary Korea.

Table of Contents

Volume I: Conflict on the Korean Peninsula

1. Bruce Cumings, ‘The Legacy of Japanese Colonialism in Korea’, in Ramon Myers and Mark Peattie, The Japanese Colonial Empire (Princeton University Press, 1984), pp. 478–96.

2. Jonathan Mercer, ‘Emotion and Strategy in the Korean War’, International Organization, 67 (2013): 221–52.

3. William Stueck, ‘The Korean War’, in Melvyn Leffler and Odd Arne Westad, The Cambridge History of the Cold War, Vol. I (Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 266–88.

4. Steven Hugh Lee, ‘Military Occupation and Empire Building in Cold War Asia: The United States and Korea, 1945-1955’, in Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, The Cold War in East Asia, 1945–1991 (Stanford University Press, 2011), pp. 98–121

5. Dingli Shen, ‘Cooperative Denuclearization toward North Korea’, Washington Quarterly, (2009): 175–88.

6. Geun Lee, ‘The Clash of Soft Powers Between China and Japan: Synergy and Dilemmas at the Six Party Talks’, Asian Perspective, 34, 2 (2010): 113–39.

7. Jong-yun Bae, ‘South Korean Strategic Thinking toward North Korea’, Asian Survey, 50, 2 (2010): 335–55.

8. Hanna Kim, Heejung Cho, and Bokgyo Jeong, ‘Social Networks and Ideological Orientation of South Korea NGOs Involved in the Unification Issues of the Korean Peninsula’, Asian Survey, 51, 5 (2011): 844–75.

9. Jonathan Pollack, ‘Nuclear Memories and Nuclear Visions’, No Exit. North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security (IISS, 2011), pp. 43–71.

10. Christopher Hill, ‘The Elusive Vision of a Nonnuclear North Korea’, Washington Quarterly, (2013): 7–19.

11. John Delury, ‘The Disappointments of Disengagement: Assessing Obama’s North Korea Policy’, Asian Perspective, 37 (2013): 149–82.

12. Bo-hyuk Suh, ‘Beyond Silence and Blaming: Revisiting South Korea’s Role in North Korean Human Rights’, Asian Perspective, 37 (2013): 77–97.

13. Steve Chan, Richard Hu, and Injoo Sohn, ‘Politics of Détente: comparing Korea and Taiwan’, Pacific Review, 26, 2 (2013): 199–220.

14. Hyeongpil Ham and Jaehak Lee, ‘North Korea’s Nuclear Decision-Making and Plausible Scenarios’, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 25, 3 (2013): 399–413.

Volume II: Economic Development in North and South Korea

15. Rudiger Frank, ‘Economic Reforms in North Korea, 1998-2004: Systemic Restrictions, Quantitative Analysis, Ideological Background’, Journal of Asia Pacific Economy, 10, 3 (2005): 278–311.

16. Charles K. Armstrong, ‘Fraternal Socialism: The International Reconstruction of North Korea, 1953–1962’, Cold War History, 5 (2005): 161–87.

17. Stephan Haggard and Marcus Noland, ‘Sanctioning North Korea: The Political Economy of Denuclearization and Proliferation’, Asian Survey, 50, 3 (2010): 239–68.

18. Kyung-ae Park, ‘Economic Crisis, Women’s Changing Economic Roles, and Their Implications for Women’s Status in North Korea’, Pacific Review, 2, 2 (2011): 159–77.

19. Balazs Szalontai and Chanyong Choi, ‘China’s Controversial Role in North Korea’s Economic Transformation’, Asian Survey, 53, 2 (2013): 269–91.

20. Se Hyun Ahn, ‘North Korea’s Energy Conundrum: Is Natural Gas the Remedy’, Asian Survey, 53, 6 (2013): 1037–62

21. Gregg Brazinsky, ‘From Pupil to Model: South Korea and American Development Policy During the Early Park Chung-Hee Era’, Diplomatic History, 29 (2005): 83–115.

22. Meredith Woo-Cumings, ‘The State, Democracy, and the Reform of the Corporate Sector in Korea’, in T. J. Pempel (ed.), The Politics of the Asian Economic Crisis (Cornell University Press, 1999), pp. 116–43.

23. Hagen Koo, ‘The Working Class at the Crossroads’, in Hagen Koo, Korean Workers. The Culture and Politics of Class Formation (Cornell University Press, 2001), pp. 188–219.

24. Iain Pirie, ‘The Korean Developmental State, Industrialization, Crisis and Post-crisis: Restructuring the Korean Development State’, From Dirigisme to Neo-Liberalism (Routledge, 2008), pp. 1–17.

25. Chang Kyung-Sup, ‘Familial Political Economy in Transition’, Chaebol: The Logic of Familial Capitalism South Korea under Compressed Modernity (Routledge, 2010), pp. 101–28.

26. Gregory W. Noble, ‘Industrial Policy in Key Developmental Sectors: South Korea Versus Japan and Taiwan’, in Byung-kook Kim and Ezra F. Vogel (eds.), The Park Chung Hee Era: The Transformation of South Korea (Harvard University Press, 2011), pp. 603–29.

27. Mireya Solis, ‘South Korea’s Fateful Decision on the Trans-Pacific Partnership’, Brookings Policy Paper, (2013): 1–25.

28. Seongho Sheen, ‘Northeast Asia’s Aging Population and Regional Security: "Demographic Peace?"’, Asian Survey, 53, 2 (2013): 292–318.

29. Eun Mee Kim, Pil Ho Kim, and Jinkyung Kim, ‘From Development to Development Cooperation: Foreign Aid, Country Ownership, and the Developmental State in South Korea’, Pacific Review, 26, 3 (2013): 313–36.

30. Marcus Noland, ‘South Korea: The Backwater That Boomed’, Foreign Affairs, (2014): 17–22.

Volume III: Political Systems, Legitimacy, and the State in the Two Koreas

31. Lisa M. Bradly, ‘Life in the DMZ: Turning a Diplomatic Failure into an Environmental Success’, Diplomatic History, 32, 4 (2008): 585–611.

32. Patrick McEachern, ‘Post-totalitarian Institutionalism’, Inside the Red Box: North Korea’s Post-Totalitarian Politics (Columbia University Press, 2010), pp. 18–51.

33. Ralph Hassig and Kongdan, ‘Defectors’, Oh, The Hidden People of North Korea: Everyday Life in the Hermit Kingdom (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009), pp. 217–39.

34. Jae-Cheon Lim, ‘North Korea’s Hereditary Succession: Comparing Two Key Transitions in the DPRK’, Asian Survey, 52, 3 (2012): 550–70.

35. Victor D. Cha and Nicholas D. Anderson, ‘A North Korea Spring?’, Washington Quarterly, (2012): 7–24.

36. Teherence Roehrig, ‘The Roles and Influence of the Military’, in Kyung-ae Park and Scott Snyder (eds.), North Korea in Transition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013), pp. 47–66.

37. Ken Gause, ‘The Role and Influence of the Party Apparatus’, in Kyung-ae Park and Scott Snyder (eds.), North Korea in Transition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013), pp. 19–45.

38. Sheila Miyoshi Jager, ‘Monumental Histories’, Narratives of Nation Building in Korea: A Genealogy of Patriotism (M. E. Sharpe, 2003), pp. 117–40.

39. Jeonghun Min, ‘How Do Campaign Events Affect Regionalism During South Korean Presidential Campaigns’, Asian Survey, 51, 5 (2011): 899–925.

40. Jennifer S. Oh, ‘Strong State and Strong Civil Society in Contemporary South Korea’, Asian Survey, 52, 3 (2012): 528–49.

41. Jae-Jung Suh, Sunwon Park, and Hahn Y. Kim, ‘Democratic Consolidation and its Limits in Korea: Dilemmas of Cooptation’, Asian Survey, 52, 5 (2012): 822–44.

42. Iain Watson, ‘Contested Meanings of Environmentalism and National Security in Green Korea’, Pacific Review, 25, 5 (2012): 537–60.

43. Yul Sohn and Won-Taek Kang, ‘South Korea in 2012: An Election Year Under Rebalancing Challenges’, Asian Survey, 53, 1 (2013): 198–205.

44. Bumsoo Kim and Sunhyuk Kim, ‘Does Culture Determine Democratic Leadership in East Asia? The Case of South Korea During the Roh Moo-hyun Presidency’, Asian Perspective,37 (2013): 387–408.

Volume IV: The Foreign Relations of Contemporary Korea

45. Tessa Morris-Suzuki, ‘Refugees, Abductees, "Returnees": Human Rights in Japan-North Korea Relations’, in Sonia Ryang (ed.), North Korea: Toward a Better Understanding (Lexington Books, 2009), pp. 129–55.

46. Samuel S. Kim, ‘North Korea’s Nuclear Strategy and the Interface between International and Domestic Politics’, Asian Perspective, 34, 1 (2010): 49–85.

47. Karin J. Lee, ‘Humanitarian Programming in the DPRK, 1996 to 2009: The US Administration and Congress’, Asian Perspective, 34, 2 (2010): 141–71.

48. Hazel Smith, ‘North Korea’s Security Perspectives’, in Andrew T. H. Tan (ed.), East and South-east Asia: International Relations and Security Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), pp. 121–32.

49. Richard Weitz, ‘Regional Powers Grapple with North Korea’s New Leader Kim Jong Un’, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 24, 3 (2012): 405–18.

50. Jae Ho Chung and Myung-hae Choi, ‘Uncertain Allies or Uncomfortable Neighbours? Making Sense of China-North Korea Relations, 1949–2010’, Pacific Review, 26, 3 (2013): 243–64.

51. Charles K. Armstrong, ‘Tyranny of the Weak, Tyranny of the Strong’, Tyrany of the Weak: North Korea and the World, 1950–1992 (Cornell University Press, 2013), pp. 282–94.

52. Woosang Kim, ‘Korea as a Middle Power in the Northeast Asian Security Environment’, in G. John Ikenberry and Chung-in Moon (eds.), The United States and Northeast Asia: Debates, Issues and New Order (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), pp. 123–41.

53. Gilbert Rozman, ‘History as an Arena of Sino-Korean Conflict and the Role of the United States’, Asian Perspective, 36 (2012): 263–85.

54. Scott W. Harold, ‘Ieodo as Metaphor? The Growing Importance of Sovereignty Disputes in South Korea-China Relations and the Role of the United States’, Asian Perspective, 36 (2012): 287–307.

55. Gi-wook Shin and Hilary Jan Izatt, ‘Anti-American and Anti-Alliance Sentiments in South Korea’, Asian Survey, 51, 6 (2011): 1113–33.

56. John Swenson-Wright, ‘Inter-Korean Relations and the Challenge of North-east Asian Regional Security’, in Andrew T. H. Tan (ed.), East and South-East Asia International Relations and Security Perspectives (Routledge, 2013), pp. 143–54.

57. Carl J. Saxer, ‘Demcratization, Globalization and the Linkage of Domestic and Foreign Policy in South Korea’, Pacific Review, 26, 2 (2013): 177–98.

58. Chang Kyoo Park, Er-Win Tan, and Gettha Govindasamy, ‘The Revival of Russia’s Role on the Korean Peninsula’, Asian Perspective, 37 (2013): 125–47.

59. Ralph A. Cossa, ‘Planning for the Future of the ROK-US Alliance: A Joint Vision for Today and Post-renification’, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 25, 4 (2013): 519–29.

About the Editor

John Swenson-Wright is lecturer in the East Asia Insitute at the University of Cambridge, and Associate Fellow, Asia Programme, at Chatham House.

He specialises in the politics and foreign and security policies of Korea and Japan. His previously-published works include:

Unequal Allies? United States Security and Alliance Policy Toward Japan,1945-1960 (Stanford University Press, 2005)

The Best Course Available: a Personal Account of the secret US-Okinawa Negotiations (University of Hawaii press, 2002)

About the Series

Critical Issues in Modern Politics

The Critical Issues in Modern Politics series considers key areas of recent politics. The series includes collections which examine the modern politics of countries around the globe, often contending with controversial and highly contested areas of politics. Titles within the series include the likes of Politics of the Modern Arab World, Politics of Modern Southeast Asia and Politics of Modern Iran. The latest addition to the series examines the politics of one of the most controversial counties in the modern word: The Politics and International Relations of Modern Korea.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General