About KAIS




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.


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 studies.


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 endeavors.