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Key Research Institute

Cooperation and Integration of Economic and Social Community in East Asia

In 2010, SNUAC was selected as a Key Research Institute by the National Research Foundation of Korea and is currently conducting research in its first year of the third phase (seventh year). Under the comprehensive topic of “Cooperation and Integration of Economic and Social Community in East Asia,” researchers specializing in different fields engage in a variety of research activities related to the feasibility and sustainability of an East Asian community. As a stronghold of research in various East Asia-related fields, the Key Research Institute strives to share its integrated research results with other countries in the region and beyond.

Research Topics

In 2016, the Key Research Institute wrapped up the third and final year of the second phase and successful commenced the third phase of research under the comprehensive topic of “Cooperation and Integration of Economic and Social Community in East Asia.” In step with the advent of the Age of Asia, the Institute recognizes that the deepening of understanding and the production of knowledge on Asian countries, regions, and actors are major tasks for the 21st century. To this end, the Key Research Institute is focusing on the concept of an “East Asian community that transcends the nation-state” in order to fortify Asia-related knowledge and contents, professional human resources, and sustainable networks. This is a reflection of the current reality that fundamental research of Asia is in urgent demand.

In the first phase of the research period, under the direction of Prof. Hyun-Chin Lim (Founding Director of SNUAC), the Institute sought out the construction of an economic community and sustainable growth based on the distinct characteristics of Asia and focusing on economic cooperation and integration within the region. In the second phase, under the direction of Prof. Myungkoo Kang (current Director of SNUAC), the discussion on an East Asian community was expanded to incorporate social and cultural integration as well, and research was conducted on the feasibility and developmental plan for an economic and social community in East Asia. Researchers were divided into two teams in order to comprehensively investigate the feasibility and developmental direction of an East Asian community, with the first team examining the economic aspects of cooperation and integration and the second team concentrating on the social and cultural sides.

Since the beginning of the third phase in September 2016, the Key Research Institute has been promoting the discussion on the feasibility of an economic and social community in East Asia and its plan for its creation, developed through the first and second research phases. The Institute is also making efforts to expand its international networks.

Major Research Outcomes

In 2016, the Key Research Institute consolidated the research results from the second phase, made preparations for third phase of research, and commenced multi-faceted research into East Asian economies and societies.

The first research team reviewed the progress of economic integration in East Asia and the factors that curb the continuous growth potential of an economic community as an extension of the first phase topic of “Economic Cooperation and Integration in East Asia.” In particular, the research focused on three topics—macroeconomic relations between East Asia and advanced countries, finance in East Asia, and the process of assimilation of North Korean refugees in a market economy.

The second team sought out common ideas on politics and economy and a new developmental model that can help the construction of an East Asian community. The researchers approached various aspects of social and cultural cooperation and integration within East Asia through the prisms of popular culture, social integration, and environmental cooperation. The team held theoretical discussions on the concept of an East Asian community, looked into East Asian social cooperation and community, and conducted research on cultural industries and cultural consumption in East Asia and on environmental valuation and international cooperation. With the research directions of the two teams complementing each other, the Key Research Institute was able to pursue a more holistic research of East Asian community, which included not only economic but also social and cultural dimensions, and expand the discussion of an East Asian community from various standpoints.

Each team produced results related to their respective topics in the form of books and research papers and gave presentations of research outcomes at domestic and international symposia. Furthermore, the researchers shared their knowledge of economy and society in East Asia with people from all walks of life—specialists, students, and the general public—by hosting various academic events. The special lecture series “Sustainable Development in Asia Illustrated by Experts of International Organizations” provides an opportunity to hear from experts in the field of sustainable development in the East Asian region. In addition, the institute provided opportunities to hear the opinions of domestic and international scholars on East Asian economy and society and to have in-depth discussions among researchers through events such as a special lecture from Prof. Christopher Davis of the Univ. of Oxford titled “Lessons from Transition Experiences in FSU and Europe for North Korea” and a workshop jointly held by SNU and Tokyo Univ. of the Arts.

Outlook and Tasks for the Future

Based on the concept of “East Asian community transcending the borders of the nation-state,” the Key Research Institute deliberates on the past, present, and future of the East Asian community and strives to concretely ascertain the feasibility of sustainable development in the East Asian region.

The next tasks for the team researching on the topic of economic community cooperation and integration is to examine price stability policy and endogeneity in East Asia, evaluate the real scale of welfare budget by East Asia country, and study on the assimilation process of North Korean refugees in a market economy.

The team working on the topic of social and cultural community cooperation and integration will continue its search for common ideas of political economy and a developmental model for the construction of an East Asian community and pursue research of social and cultural cooperation and integration from various angles such as popular culture, social integration, environmental cooperation, and international development cooperation. Sharing the research findings with other countries in Asia and the world is the Institute’s contribution to the SNUAC goal of becoming a hub of Asian research.


Keunsik Jung·Minhwan Kim (2016). <Rebirth of Cold War Island, Jinmen>. Zininjin

Keunsik Jung, Hyesun Shin (2016). <Dalian Studies>. Zininjin

Sunggyu Kim (2016). Social Capital and Effectiveness of integrated Rural Development Project in Developing Country : A Case Study about Official Development Assistance (ODA) of Myanmar. Korean Journal of Agricultural Management and Policy Vol. 43, N0. 1

Sunggyu Kim·Joohee Kim (2016). International Development Cooperation and Nigeria`s national development strategy: Implications of Falling Oil Prices on Economic Reform. East and West Studies Vol. 28, No. 4

Chulin Lee (2016). Effects of Youth Unemployment Bonus. Korean Journal of Labor Economics Vol. 39, No. 4

Chulin Lee (2016). The Tax and Expenditure Mix in Environmental Public Finance. Journal of Economic Theory and Econometrics Vol. 27, No. 4

Keunsik Jung·Lan Jin (2016). Two Ways, Autobiographical Narratives of Chinese P.O.Ws: Based on the Oral Histories of Zhang Zeshi(张澤石) and LiuChunChien(劉純儉). Korean Journal of Oral Histroy Vol. 7, No. 1

Keunsik Jung·Chunfang Wu (2016). Post-Cold War and Sustainability of Battlefield Tourism in East Asia: A Case of Kinmen. Asia Review Vol. 6, No. 1

Soyoung Kim (2016). What is Learned from a Currency Crisis Fear of Floating or Hollow Middle Identifying Exchange Rate. International Journal of Central Banking Vol. 12, No. 4

Yoomi Kim, Katsuya Tanaka, Shunji Matsuoka (2017). Institutional Mechanisms and the Consequences of International Environmental Agreements. Global Environmental Politics Vol. 17, No. 1


Soojin Park (Dept. of Geography)

Byungyeon Kim (Dept. of Economics)
Soyoung Kim (Dept. of Economics)
Jayoung Kim (Dept. of Economics)
Myungkoo Kang (Dept. of Communication)
Chulin Lee (Dept. of Economics)
Haeran Lim (Dept. of Political Science and Int’l Relations)

Research Fellows:
Sunggyu Kim (SNUAC)
Yoomi Kim (SNUAC)

Research Assistants:
Fuminori Tamura (SNU)
Seungmok Han (SNU)