Advancing Social Science with Korea

This Laboratory sought to globalize Korean studies by undertaking a research agenda that drew empirical and theoretical lessons from Korea for the advancement of debates and literature in respective social science and humanities disciplines

About the Project

The Laboratory carried out a multi-year research program that sought to draw lessons from Korea for the expansion of discourse and literature in respective social science and humanities disciplines. Through generous support from the Academy of Korean Studies, the Laboratory strived to bridge important lacunas in the social sciences in the United States about the significance of Korea.
The Laboratory’s innovative research objectives involved the fields of social history and Korean national identity; grand strategy and diplomacy toward Korea in American history; new approaches to understanding the North Korean problematique; and pioneering interdisciplinary and comparative areas, beginning with a study of demography and Korean national security. These areas were chosen because they amend scholarly gap through groundbreaking conceptual approaches to the study of Korea.
The Laboratory has chosen a unique set of recognized senior scholars, “rising academic stars,” and distinguished scholar/practitioners in their disciplines. The Laboratory scholars are balanced those who are Korean experts with those who are more generalists in their fields, but who use Korea as an important case in their work. Taken together, the products of the Laboratory displayed the uniqueness and significance of Korea empirically and demonstrate the relevance of the Korean experience to current scholarly conventions and debates within and across disciplines.

Victor Cha

Senior Advisor and Korea Chair, CSIS
D.S. Song-KF Professor in Government and International Affairs, Georgetown University
Victor Cha joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in May 2009 as a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair. He also holds the D.S. Song-KF Professorship in Government and International Affairs at Georgetown University. He left the White House in 2007 after serving since 2004 as Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council (NSC). At the White House, he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand and Pacific Island nation affairs. Dr. Cha was also the deputy head of delegation for the United States at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing and received two Outstanding Service commendations during his tenure at the NSC. Dr. Cha is a former John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University, two-time Fulbright Scholar, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Scholar at Columbia University, and Hoover National Fellow, CISAC Fellow, and William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University. He is currently a fellow in Human Freedom (non-resident) at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Cha received his Ph.D. in political science at Columbia University in 1994, his Master’s in international affairs from Columbia in 1988, an M.A. with honors in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University (Hertford College), and an A.B. in economics from Columbia in 1979.

*Selected as "2012 Best Books on Asia-Pacific” by Foreign Affairs"
*Selected as the 2013 Cyril Black Annual Book Lecture, Princeton University

Michael Green

Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, CSIS
Director of Asian Studies, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Michael Jonathan Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He served on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) from 2001 through 2005, first as director for Asian affairs with responsibility for Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand, and then as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asia, with responsibility for East Asia and South Asia. Before joining the NSC staff, he was a senior fellow for East Asian security at the Council on Foreign Relations, director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center and the Foreign Policy Institute and assistant professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, research staff member at the Institute for Defense Analyses, and senior adviser on Asia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He also worked in Japan on the staff of a member of the National Diet. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from SAIS and did additional graduate and postgraduate research at Tokyo University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College with highest honors.


Elizabeth Stephen
Associate Professor of Demography and CNDLS Senior Scholar, Georgetown University
Dr. Elizabeth Hervey Stephen has been a member of the Georgetown University faculty since 1987 and has now taught well over 2,000 students. She has served in numerous administrative positions including Chair of the Department of Demography and she was the director of the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Prior to her appointment at Georgetown, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a research assistant for the Center of Population Research, University of Texas, Austin; a social science analyst for the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; a survey statistician for the U.S. Bureau of the Census;
and a demographer for the Denver Regional Council of Governments. Dr. Stephen was a Fulbright Fellow for the German Studies Seminar in June 2009. She also was the recipient of a POSCO Fellowship at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 2010.


Christine Kim

Associate Professor of Teaching, Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University
Dr. Christine Kim is Associate Professor of Teaching in the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University. An historian by training, she teaches courses on modern Korea and East Asia at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; topics include comparative colonialisms, twentieth century conflicts, political symbolism, and film. Her research and writing focus on national identity, material culture, and political movements. The King Is Dead (forthcoming) explores the ways that colonization and modernization influenced Korean polity and identity during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is also engaged in a study examining cultural heritage and arts management in Korea in the twentieth century. Kim is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including ones from the Department of Education (Fulbright-Hays), the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Korea Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies, and the East-West Center.

  • The King is Dead: Monarchy and National Identity in Modern Korea: 1807-1945


Christopher Hill

Senior Advisor, Albright Stonebridge Group
Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy, University of Denver
Former United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea
Ambassador Christopher Robert Hill is a Senior Advisor at Albright Stonebridge Group. During his long and distinguished career in the Foreign Service, he served as ambassador to four countries and in multiple senior positions at the U.S. Department of State. Ambassador Hill also serves as Chief Advisor to the Chancellor for Global Engagement and Professor of the Practice in Diplomacy at the University of Denver. Ambassador Hill served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, the Republic of Korea, Poland, and the Republic of Macedonia. In addition, he served as Special Envoy to Kosovo and as the Head of the U.S. delegation to the Six-Party Talks on the North Korean nuclear issue. He previously served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southeast European Affairs in the National Security Council. Earlier in his Foreign Service career, Ambassador Hill served tours in Belgrade, Warsaw, Seoul, and Tirana. He is the recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions as a member of the U.S. negotiating team in the Bosnia peace settlement and was a recipient of the Robert S. Frasure Award for Peace Negotiations for his work on the Kosovo crisis. He graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine with a B.A. in Economics and received a Master’s degree from the Naval War College.