It is with deep honor and renewed
determination that I have taken on this leadership position in our esteemed
academic society, which has 73 years of brilliant history, for the year of
2019 marks the 100th year anniversary of
international relations department launched as a singular, unified discipline
in Great Britain, and it is also the 130th year since Korea’s very first book
on international politics, Yu Kil-chun(유길준)’s
“Observations on Travels in the West(서유견문)”, was written.
Historically, transformative global events have occurred in years ending in the
number nine, including the forging of diplomatic ties between the US and China
and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is my hope that in this monumental year, our
KAIS will take the time to shed new light and reflect on events of the past,
examine the issues of the present, and explore the future.
In order to achieve these aims, I plan to
focus on three major goals during my tenure as the leader of this Association.
First, I will prepare research projects centered around topics of academic
interest to our KAIS members, and work to host debates and facilitate
presentations on topics that excite and inspire us. The Spring conference on
the topic of “Korean Nationalism in the 21st Century”, as well as the Fall conference
planned on “The Future of International Studies”, are part of this initiative.
Second, I plan to strengthen our
international activities in consideration of the huge increase in the number of
our members engaged in academic activities abroad, the expansion of
international networks in the academic realm, and the incredible growth in the
number of foreign scholars coming to Korean universities. In the Summer, we
will host a large-scale conference jointly with the International Studies Association
(ISA), inviting more than 120 international scholars. In addition, we plan to
form international panels at the Fall and Winter meetings that will actively
support the international academic endeavors of our membership.
Third, the recent trend within our
Association has been to focus our research agenda disproportionately on
international relations including the North Korea nuclear problem, alliances,
trade and commerce, and so forth. We have given significantly lesser weight to
the area studies populated by a large portion of our members. Thus, during our summer
and annual meetings, I plan to help promote cooperation between KAIS and
individual research groups/associations in order to foster linkage between area
studies and international relations research, as well as comparative regional
It is my great privilege to have been
bestowed the responsibility of upholding our Association’s reputation this
year, and I pledge to do my utmost to rise to the task. I am filled with
anticipation and hope that the sum of our collective efforts will make the KAIS
prosper. I look forward to meeting all of you in either formal or informal
settings, and I will do my very best to strengthen and integrate the research
capacity of our membership and our Association as a whole.
I would like to convey my warmest wishes to
all of you for the new year, and I hope you to find success in all of your