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‘Masterpiece of Korean Art’ (1957-1959) and the Cold War Politics of Antiquities

Christine Kim is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She argues that the immdeiate post-liberation years point to a relative indifference within Korea save for a handful of dedicated public servants, but an early interest was taken by U.S. occupation authorities who recognized the political utility, rather than the aesthetic merits, of Korean art. 

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A symposium on the history of medicine in Korea

The seminar brought three scholars of the history of medicine in Korea to UBC to join with a scholar of Korean medicine in the UBC Department of Asian Studies to introduce faculty and students at UBC to the latest developments in the study of disease and medicine in Korean history. The four ranged from an analysis of the infectious diseases of ancient Korea to a discussion of the return of malaria in recent times. The speakers also explored the traditional medicine of Korea, with one talk on Korea's greatest encyclopedia of traditional medicine, the Dongui Bogam, and another on the modernization of traditional medicine in recent decades.  The scholars from Korea, two from Yonsei University and one from Kyonghee University,  are members of a research team working with a grant from the Korean government to trace the history of iillness and healing in Korea from the earliest times to the present day.

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"Korea Conquers the World": Son Kijŏng, Sports Nationalism, and the Problem of the Victorious Colonial in Imperial Japan"

Jeff Bayliss is Charles A. Dana Research Associate Professor of History at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. In this talk, Bayliss talked about a Korean running under the flag of the colonial Japanese regime, Son Kijŏng, who set an Olympic marathon record at the Berlin Games. He took a simultaneously broader and more detailed look at Son’s pre-Berlin career, including the rise of a long-distance running program in colonial Korea that produced Son and many other gifted runners, to explore how Koreans like Son came to use distance running as a means of expressing ethnic pride.  

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"Introducing Hearts of Pine: Songs in the Lives of Three Korean Survivors of the Japanese 'Comfort Women'"

Joshua D. Pilzer is an Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of Toronto, and is a scholar of Korean and Japanese music. In this seminar, he focused on how during four decades of post-war public secrecy about the comfort women system, song served for these women as both a private and a public means of coping with their trauma-each used song in a different way to reckon with their experiences and to forge a new sense of self.

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Korean Traditional Music and Korean Film

Dr.Hee-sun Kim from Kookmin University spoke on Korean traditional music in commercial Korean films to examine what constitutes the Korean spirit presented and represented in these films. She focused on the film King and the Clown,(Wang-ui Namja), a historical drama, which portrayed traditional music and performing arts based on the stories of artists during the Joseon Dynasty.

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“Rise of a Regional Subjectivity in Chosŏn Korea”

Dr.Sun-Joo Kim is Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and is also the director of Korea Institute at HarvardUniversity. The talk focused on the study of the rise of a regional subjectivity in northern part of the Korean peninsula through a person’s life and work to highlight how a literatus named Yi Sihang (1672–1736) from a marginalized region in early modern Korea had become an advocate of regional subjectivity through various social, cultural, and intellectual activities, in particular through his conscientious historical writings.

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The Origin of the Developmental State in South Korea: A Reexamination of the Park Chung-hee Myth

Jong-Sung You is the Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the Korea-Pacific Program at the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California. He makes a case against the typical academic credit given to Park Chung-Hee for his supposedly robust economic reforms, and challenges that the comparisons between the regimes of Syngman Rhee and Park Chung-Hee are unduly exaggerated. Jong-Sung You finally argues for the key role of land reforms in the rapid economic growth of Korea.

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The US ROK Alliance and the US Rebalance to Asia

Scott Snyder is currently a Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. His presentation consisted of an examination into the U.S. - Korea relationship, and its expansion from being a purely need-based alliance to deter North Korea to becoming a comprehensive security and economic alliance. He also focuses on how this relationship would be a key component in the new rebalancing policies of the U.S.

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Towards a Multimodal Analysis of Korean Honorific Speech

Lucien Brown is the Assistant Professor of Korean Linguistics at the University of Oregon. His seminar focuses on the different forms of Korean speech, and in particular, he distinguishes two main types: honorific and non-honorific. He also offers his research on native Korean speakers, and how they are able to distinguish between honorific and non-honorific without verbal cues, but focusing on a complex system of tonal cues that are interlaced as layers in Korean speech.

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The Return of the Native: Japan’s Wartime Pan-Asianism and the Aesthetic Production of “Korea” in Yi Hyo-sŏk’s Late Colonial Writings

Professor Mi-Ryong Shim is a scholar at Pacific University specializing in the imperialisation, conversion and Pan-Asian regionalism in the late colonial era in Korea. In this seminar, in particular, Professor Mi-Ryong Shim examines the works of novelist Yi Hyo-sŏk in detail, in order to demonstrate his writings exemplify the chaotic period in which such movements were born, and how his works help define the abstract term called "Koreanness". 

Vision Talk: Korea Forum Seminar


Prestigious experts on modern Korea gathered at "Vision Talk", a Korea forum, to talk about Korea on four dimensions: political, cultural, economic and business, and provided on outlook as to how Korean-Canadian youth must act in the face of an increasingly global community and the competitive professional scene in order to shape their futures.The event was hosted by the Centre for Korean Research and the UBC Korean Visiting Scholars Association in tandem. Speakers included Consul General Kie-Cheon Lee, Professor Donald Baker, Professor Hyun-Hoon Lee, and Mr. Young Jin Kang. 


“Modern Times in North Korea: Scenes from the Founding Years”

Suzy Kim is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages & CUltures at Rutgers University, and has published the book "Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950" thus far. In this seminar, she explored a related subject to the book, focusing on archival photos to explain her points about the stereotypization of North Korea in the media as well as demonstrating a new historical outlook on North Korea's beginning years.

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The Scope of Foreign Engagement in the DPRK, 1995-2012

Andrew Yeo is an associate professor of politics at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and is currently writing a book on U.S. bilateral alliances and multilateralism in Asia. In this talk, he explains the extent of the underestimated scope of foreign involvement in the DPRK and what it means for the future of the DPRK, founded upon data from the Engage DPRK mapping initiative as well as interviews with various NGO, IGO and business representatives.

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“Making Sense of a Worker Self-Immolation in 1970s South Korea”

Dr. Hwasook Nam is a James B. Palais Endowed Associate Professor in Korea Studies at the University of Washington. In her seminar, she discusses the role of the worker Chun Tae-il's self-immolation and death as a powerful discourse for dissident activists, who rebelled against the developmentalist regimes of Park Chung Hee and Chun Doo Hwan. In particular, she examines the writing of Cho Young-rae which details the life of Chun Tae-il, showing a parallel between his story with the political changes of the 1970s in South Korea.


Social Movements and the Political Polarization of South Korea and Taiwan

There has been a widespread perception that politics in South Korea and Taiwan have become increasingly polarized in recent elections. Are the electorates in both countries also polarized, and if so, what are the sources of this polarization? Hyunji Lee briefly discusses some common causes of the recent social movements in both countries and identify some similarities and differences between Korea and Taiwan in the patterns of social cleavages.


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South Korea’s Foreign Policy, Viewed from Inside vs. Outside

Taehyo Kim is a Professor of Political Science at the Sungkyunkwan University. The talk focused on examining thechallenging security issues that the Republic of Korea face today including North Korea policy, future of ROK-U.S. alliance, relations with the PRC and Japan, re-unification of Korean Peninsula, and the roles of Global Korea.

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Glossolalia, Cacophony, Intensity

Nicholas Harkness is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University, specializing in the ethnographic study of communication and cultural semiosis. In this seminar, he discussed glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”) and cacophony in settings of fervent group prayer among Protestant Christians in Seoul. 

70 Years of Division of the Korean Peninsula: Implications for Peace and Unification

A round table discussion on the topic of Unification of Korea was presented by the Centre for Korean Research and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea. Topics included “Inter-Korean Relations: Troubled Past, Toward a More Hopeful Future?,” “Soft Power Engagement with North Korea,” “Korean Peninsula Unification and the Unexpected,” “China and the Korean Peninsula: Driving Forces of Changing China’s Policy toward the Two Koreas.”  Speakers included Dr. Kyung-Ae Park, Dr. Sung Joo Han, Mr. John Merrill, Mr. Keith Luse, and Dr. Wang Yong. 

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Limited Options: Handling the Provocation and Charm Offensive Cycles of North Korea’s Diplomacy


Troy Stangarone joined the Korea Economic Institute (KEI) as the Senior Director of Congressional Affairs and Trade, and Ian E. Rinehart is an Analyst in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service. Their main discussion focuses on if the international community will be able to stop North Korea from building more nuclear weapons.

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Hallyu in the “Cool Japan” & How to Understand Cultural Globalization of Korean Cinema in the New Korean Wave Era

Professor Seong Bin Hwang from Rikkyo University in Tokyo explains the current state of Korean popular culture in Japan, and Professor Dal Yong Jin from Simon Fraser University discusses the swift change of the Korean film industries in conjunction with the Korean Wave.

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Artless song through Cherry Lips: writing the child in colonial Korea

Dafna Zur, Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University, discussed the magazine Ǒrini, delving into the magazine's aesthetic politics to argue that their texts and images created a uniqe and affectively privileged literary and visual landscape in colonial Korea. 

Alternative Avenues of Engagement with North Korea and for Peace in Northeast Asia


Ralph Cossa is the president of the Pacific Forum, Centre for Strategic & International Studies in Honolulu, HawaiiHe opened a discussion on the ways countries try to engage North Korea and bring about peace in Northeast Asia 

Can the US Pick Up the Pieces of its Failed North Korea Policy?

Joel Stephen Wit from John's Hopkins University discusses the failure of the February 2012 Leap Year Agreement between the US and North Korea as well its implications in the US elections and Pyong Yang's growing nuclear power.

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Territorial Disputes in East Asia: Origins and the U.S. Responsibility

Joon-woo Park, a former senior diplomat from Korea, is the 2011–12 Koret
Fellow with the Korean Studies Program (KSP) at Stanford University.
Ambassador Park discussed the historical and political implications upon the territorial disputes in East Asia.

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Korean Media 'Big Bang'

Luke Kang, the Senior Vice President and MD of the Walt Disney
Company Korea, discusses the explosive growth in the Korean media industry over the last decade--what happened, how it happened, what are the implications, and where will it go fron now? The talk centers on the evolution of the Korean media industry over the last decade and how it grew from an extremely low cost and local industry to a regional and growing international creative center of excellence.  

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Korean Kids' Edutainment: Consumer, gender, and nationality socialization in Korean children's marketing and children's books

Millie Creighton, the Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, discussed the South Korean children's marketing and the cultures of consumption.

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U.S. Approaches to New Leadership in the Koreas

Nicholas Hamisevicz is the Director of Research and
Academic Affairs at KEI. He is responsible for issues related
to North Korea and for academic outreach. He organizes and speaks in KEI's numerous university programs around the country. Mr. Hamisevicz is also responsible for programming and publications related to North Korea.

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Multicultural Coexistence and East Asian Community

Workshop co-sponsored by Centre For Korean Research (UBC) and Peace & Democracy Institute (Korea University) held at the seminar room in C.K. Choi Building, Institute of Asian Research.

North Korea in Transition: Where is it Going?

The conference was co-organized by Centre for Korean 
Research (UBC) and Centre for US-Korea Policy (Asia 
Foundation in Washington, DC) on September 15th-16th held
at Korea Economic Institute Conference Room in Washington,
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Apprehensional Modal in Korean: (u)I-kka poa

Michael Namkil Kim, the President of the International Conference for Korean Applied Linguistics discusses the application of "(u)I-kka-poa" in Korean Speech.

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Haunting the Korean Diaspora: Shame, Secrecy, and the Forgotten War

Dr. Grace Cho, Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the City University of New York, discusses how Koreans and especially Korean women have been affected by the Korean War

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Inside North Korea

John Everard, the former British Ambassador to North Korea presents the everyday lives of common people in North Korea. He also discusses the shaping of North Korean society, the recent changes in the country, and what kind of challenges the modern world poses to the regime in North Korea.

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Political Discontent in East Asian Emerging Democracies

Tun-jen Cheng, Professor in the Department of Government at the College of William and Marry proposes his explanations on the East Asian disatisfaction with their democracies

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Maritime Customs and Sino-Korean Relations: New Perspectives on Korea's "Chinese Decade"

Wayne K. Patterson, Professor of History at St. Norbert College in Wisconsin discusses the Chinese attempts to absorb the Korean Maritimes Customs Service in the 1880s as a way of increasing its control over Korea.


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The Political Economy of Informal Networks in Japan and Korea; Amakudari and Parachute Appointment

Sang-young Rhyu, Associate Professor of Political Economy at Yonsei University in Korea discusses the prevalent Japanese and Korean practices of amakudari and parachute appointments


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US Policy toward North Korea

Bruce Klingner, the Senior Research Fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation's Asian Centre, answers whether the Obama administration's "strategic patience" approach will work.

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History Matters: the Koguryo/Gaogouli Controversy and Identity in East Asia

 Kirk Larsen, associate professor of history at Brigham Young University, presents to shed light on both the historical events under dispute and the ways in which they are used and interpreted in contemporary Northeast Asia.

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The Seoul G20: Opportunities for Canadian/Korean Cooperation

Barry Carin, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, will explore the possibility of cooperation on the various initiatives on the Seoul \November and future G20 agendas.

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Shamans, Nostalgias, and the IMF: South Korean Popular Religion in Motion

In this presentation co-sponsored by Centre for Korean Research, Department of Asian Studies, and Department of Anthropology, Laurel Kendall describes some of the changes and personal experiences that prompted her to write her new book SHAMANS, NOSTALGIAS, AND THE IMF.

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The North Korea Crisis: A Dangerous Stalemate

Amid continuing economic difficulties, there has been growing speculation about the possibility of a North Korean collapse. Mike Chinoy discusses how did the current crisis took shape. 

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Conference on "Non-Traditional Security Issues in North Korea"

The conference, organizd by Professor Kyung-Ae Park, shed light on the most critical issues regarding North Korean non-traditional security, by bringing together the work of leading North Korea experts to analyze various NTS issues in the North Korean context.

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Korea’s Democratization in Global Perspective

Dr. Steven Lee (University of British Columbia) discusses some of the dominant frameworks for understanding democratization and situates the Korean case within the wider global context of political revolution in the late twentieth century. 

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Breaking the News: The Impact of Foreign Media in North Korea

Peter Beck (Stanford University) answers the questions of to what extent is banned media undermining the regime's control of the flow of information, and if such broadcasts do encourage North Koreans to defect.

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Social Memory and Public Production of History: The T'aebaek Mountains and the Politics of Remembering the Korean War

Dr. Namhee Lee (University of California, LA) explores the novel The T'aebaek Mountain as a way to examine the structure of contemporary public memory, its presence and absences, and meaning-making in contemporary South Korea.

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One Alliance, Two Lenses: American-Republic of Korea Relations in a New Era

Dr. Gi-Wook Shin (Stanford University) examines U.S.-Korea relations in a short but dramatic period (1992-2003) that witness various events, leading to a new era of challenges and opportunities.

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Edges of Absence: Korea and American Anthropology

Dr. Robert Oppenheim (University of Texas at Austin)'s presentation reflects an attempt to examine the issues of the history Korea within American Anthropology using both published and archival sources from the 1880s through the 1960s.

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The Graphic Imagination: Script Primordialism and the Imagining of Writing in Korean Antiquity

Dr. Ross King (University of British Columbia) focuses on an increasing popular extension of script nationalism that he calls 'script primordialism'. 

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Evangelizing Development: Korean/American Missions and Capitalist Deliverance

Judy Han from UBC discusses how the missionaries offered the model as a blueprint for both economic and spiritual progress, recasting its authoritarian roots in Christian terms. 

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South Korean Civil Society Organizations and the Political Process of Historical Memories

Professor Jungmin Seo of University of Hawaii at Manoa review how historical issues have entered into the field of political contentions in South Korea, and examines the role of CSOs in the process.

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Allied to Race? The U.S.-Korea Alliance and Arms Race

Dr. Jae-Jung Suh, associate professor of Johns Hopkins University, examines the degree to and the ways in which the South's military transformation is attributable at least partly to the pressure that its alliance with the U.S. keeps on Seoul to maintain military readiness and interoperability.

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Evaluating the Silk Letter of Hwang Sayong: A defense of human rights or a betrayal of the nation?

Dr. Don Baker (UBC) gives an overview of Hwang's letter, why he wrote it, what happened when that letter was intercepted, and how Hwang and his letter are viewed by Koreans, both Catholic and non-Catholic, today.

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Public Interest Litigation in South Korea

Dr. Tae-Ung Baik explores the characteristics of Korean public interest litigation through the review of the historical development and important cases.

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Conference on "Emerging Issues of North Korean Foreign Policy"

The Centre for Korean Research is pleased to present a conference bringing together the world's foremost scholars on North Korea to examine the future North Korean foreign policy orientation. 

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The Jogye Temple Complex: Where the ‘Mundane’ and ‘Spiritual’ is inextricably intertwined

Professor Hwansoo Kim discusses the complex relationship between Korean Buddhism and the state through the history of the Jogye Temple in Seoul.

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Local Strategies of Integration in Late Chosŏn Korea

Professor Sun Joo Kim discusses how families in the P’yŏngan region constructed ‘cultural identities’ in order to win family prestige and state rewards in late Chosŏn Korea.

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South Korea’s Experiment in Jury Criminal Trials

Professor In Sup Han discusses the recent adoption of jury trials in criminal trials and what it might mean for Korean judicial reform.

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The "Problem of China" in the Study of Korean History

Dr. Yung Sik Kim, Professor at the Department of Asian History, Seoul National University, delivered a lecture about the significance of China in the study of Korean history and science at the CKR Lecture Series on February 13, 2009.

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Becoming Human: ‘Talbukja’ – Displaced North Koreans in China and South Korea

Dr. Hyun Ok Park discusses the histories of displaced North Koreans and what they tell us about the role of work’ and ‘nation’ in becoming human.

Seminar on "The Changing Political and Economic Environment of the Korean Peninsula"

The Centre for Korean Research and The Korea Economic Institute, Washington DC are pleased to present the seminar on "The Changing Political and Economic Environment of the Korean Peninsula" 

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Seminar on "Where is North Korea Going?"

Professor Han S. Park and Professor Kyung-Ae Park discuss on the issue of where North Korea is heading to through two different topics. 

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Seminar on "Canada-Korea Political and Economic Cooperation"

Panelists (Yeonho Lee, Seokwoo Kim, Won-Taek Kang, and Sunghack Lim)  with commentators (Ken Carty, Kyung-Ae Park, and Shaun Narine) and moderator Myungsoon Shin discuss on the topic of Canada and Korea's political and economic cooperation.

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2012 South Korean Presidential Election

A roundtable discussion on the topic of 2012 South Korean Presidential Election featuring speakers from Seoul National University, Korea University, Ewha Womans University, and University of British Columbia. Topics include "Salient Features of Korea's 2012 Presidential Election," "Statecraft and Challenges of the Park Geun-Hye Government," "Park Geun-Hye's Foreign Policy and the Future of the Korea-US Alliance," "Dilemma of Park Geun-Hye's Government: What to do with Pyongyang?" and "A Few Thoughts on Korea-Japan Relations."

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Social Movements and the Political Polarization of Southy Korea and Taiwan

There has been a widespread perception that politics in South Korea and Taiwan have become increasingly polarized in recent elections. Are the electorates in both countries also polarized, and if so, what are the sources of this polarization?  I briefly discuss some common causes of the recent social movements in both countries, and identify some similarities and differences between Korea and Taiwan in the patterns of political cleavages.

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