Key Research Institute


Open Cluster

Principal Investigator: Myungkoo Kang (Dept. of Communication, Director of SNUAC)
Co-Researchers: Byungyeon Kim (Dept. of Economics), Soyoung Kim (Dept. of Economics), Jaeyoung Kim (Dept. of Economics), Soojin Park (Dept. of Geography), Chulin Lee (Dept. of Economics), Haeran Lim (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations), Keunsik Jung (Dept. of Sociology)
Research Fellows: Sunggyu Kim (SNUAC), Yoomi Kim (SNUAC), Hyesun Shin (SNUAC), Jongho Choi (SNUAC)

− Comprehensive research amalgamating various categories such as the current state, potential, and construction of, as well as plans for, the formation of East Asian community
− Research pertaining to the current state of East Asian economic integration and factors threatening the sustainable growth of economic community
− Research pertaining to East Asian social and cultural cooperation and integration (popular culture, social integration,
environmental cooperation, etc.)
− Asia research transcending boarders investigating the nurturing and transformation of cooperative exchange primarily pertaining to sea territory in East Asia
− Research on East Asian companies entering the Chinese market studying human and material flows and movements in East Asia with particular respect to businesses expanding overseas

Research Topics
In the first stage of the project, eight SNU professors of sociology, including Principal Investigator Prof. Hyun-Chin Lim (Founding Director of SNUAC), and four research fellows proposed a new theoretical system and methodology based on Asia’s distinct characteristics in terms of East Asian economic cooperation and integration. The researchers also devised policy measures for the construction and sustainable growth of an economic community as part of various research activities.

Since September 2013, Prof. Myungkoo Kang, current Director of SNUAC, has been acting as the Principal Investigator. The second stage of the research project, led by seven co-researchers and four research fellows, is now underway. In this particular stage, the discussion focuses on the possibilities and construction of the East Asian economic community,
in order to investigate possibilities of cooperation and community formation among East Asian countries from a wider perspective. More specifically, the second stage consists of a first research team, which focuses on an East Asian economic community, and a second research team, which studies the possibility of an East Asian social and cultural community and its paths for development.

Major Research Outcomes
As of February 2016, the <Cooperation and Integration of East Asian Economic and Social Community> Research Team is actively conducting studies on East Asia’s economy and society. The first research team studied the degree of East Asia’s economic integration with regards to its material aspect, and factors that may potentially threaten the economic community’s sustainable growth. The second research team studied diverse aspects of East Asia’s internal socio-cultural cooperation and integration, from the perspectives of popular culture, societal integration, and environmental cooperation.

The fact that these two research topics are organically linked together enables the project to develop into a discussion that encompasses East Asia’s economic and social community. For example, in order to enhance their mutual interconnection, the two second stage research teams are jointly participating in the “Transnational Asia” and “Study on the Entry of
East Asian Corporations to the Chinese Market” research projects. In particular, the “Study on the Entry of East Asian Corporations to the Chinese Market,” which has been making thorough progress since 2015, focuses on the fact that East Asia’s human and material mobility is in large part being led by local corporations, and that these corporations create
a common socio-cultural flow within the area. Therefore, the program introduces corporations as the de facto principal agent of interaction and cooperation within Asia, and as new actors that transcend nations. The program aims to investigate various aspects and changes of interaction and cooperation that these corporations are leading across borders.

Future Challenges and Outlook
The Key Research Institute strives to serve as an integrated forum for research that encompasses East Asia’s diverse sectors. For this purpose, the institute expanded the scope of research so that rather than focusing on domestic issues of each country, it would also include issues that arise in between countries. To begin with, the first research team examined the databases on macroeconomic and social indexes of each country in East Asia. Also, the team developed a panel for the assimilation research of the socioeconomic process of North Korean defectors. In addition, the team reviewed research trends and tasks of the comparison of Chinese and American exchange rate shock effects and Korean finance, thereby examining the present conditions and possibilities of East Asian economic community.

Further, the second research team, focusing on the cooperation and integration of East Asia’s socio-cultural community, conducted a comparative study on the political economy model and social welfare system of East Asian developmental states in line with environmental changes, as well as a study on the Soviet memorial monument. Through such
studies, the team was able to investigate the amity and cooperation among East Asian countries throughout history. Also, characteristics of the region were interpreted through an analysis of popular culture and education from the cultural perspective. In addition, the Institute deduced common Asian values in search for solution to East Asia’s environmental
problems, along with conducting research on the evaluation of East Asia’s environmental values and international cooperation.
Finally, the study on the “Entry of East Asian Corporations to the Chinese Market” focused on topics such as the regional distribution of Korean corporations in China, organizational characteristics, and Chinese and Korean policies relevant to such corporations. In the future, the Institute plans to conduct a comparative research on the Korean and Japanese
corporations’ entry into the Chinese market by cooperating with Japanese researchers. To achieve this, the Institute is currently negotiating with Kyushu Univ. (Japan) to establish networks and host seminars.