Dear members of the Korean Association of International Studies
Wishing you and your family health, happiness, and prosperity in the new year 2021!
I am humbled and honored to serve the Korean Association of International Studies as the 65th president this year. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to make a difference for our association with a strong sense of responsibility.
Last year, it was unprecedentedly difficult due to the corona crisis. I'd like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the former president Lee Sang-hwan and his executive team members who achieved considerable results.
This year, which opens a new decade of the 2020s, is expected to bring new visions, hopes, and many challenges to our association. In the midst of rapidly changing international relations, we will share the new academic achievements of several members and contribute to the academic work that can contribute to our nation and the world.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and the beginning of the post-Cold War unipolar world, the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist incident, and the 10th anniversary of the Japanese Fukushima incident. It is time to delve into the change of global political structure, the rise and influence of non-Western regions, and the matter of the environmental protection and technological developments.
Thirty years have passed since the two Koreas became the members of the United Nations, and the Basic Agreement between the two Koreas was concluded following the declaration of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. While the North Korean nuclear problem persists, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which becomes more complex with the intensifying US-China competition, is also a vital issue. In the United States, the Biden administration will be launched, and South Korea will witness political competition for the presidential election in early 2022.
In 2021, we are committed to focusing on major academic topics in international politics, regional studies, and comparative politics, and we will strive to produce meaningful discourses regarding South Korean foreign policy. In addition to the academic achievements in Europe and the United States, we will look back on the situation of non-Western International Relations as an academic field, with a hope of furthering Korean perspectives. Supports for young scholars and the next generations in academia are also critical goals. We will gather the wisdom of our members to provide future-oriented discourses that can lead South Korea's foreign policy.
Large-scale face-to-face conferences in the first half of the year are unlikely to be feasible due to the Covid-19 situations. We will try various types of conferences and we will focus on the summer conference and the annual conference in December as two pillars, while maximizing the efficiency of virtual meetings in the first half of the year. We intend to explore the possibility of face-to-face meetings during this period. In the second half of the year, we are looking forward to recovering the in-person meetings.
I am quite confident that our members’ sincere support and participation will make differences in the above-mentioned agendas.
May you see great success in the coming year and beyond! Happy New Year 2021!
January 4, 2021
On behalf of the executive team members in 2021