About ARI Asiatic Research Institute

HK Center for Northeast Asian Studies

HK Center for Northeast Asian Studies

In this era of globalization and transnationalism, we cannot help but emphasize the importance of international relations. Northeast Asia is no exception as a region of both conflict and cooperation, resulting from the coexistence of legacies from the Cold War era and post-Cold War transformation, and the parallel development of modernization and postmodernization. A variety of agents such as states, local governments, various NGOs, corporations, and individuals have been participating in this transformation in a range of areas including economy, labor, ideology, culture, environment and human rights, in an environment of increasingly "porous borders." Northeast Asia is currently experiencing the formation, transformation, and reformation of multi-layered networks and multiple identities among various agents. In order to provide a comprehensive account of complicated transnational phenomena in Northeast Asia, it is essential to explore the intellectual foundation underlying them, to examine transnational social and cultural trends, and to investigate the changes in institutional orders. ARI has set up three research divisions dealing with intellectual, sociocultural, and institutional topics.

Objective 1
Leading Northeast Asian studies by setting and carrying out a research agenda

ARI will present a new paradigm in Northeast Asian studies by treating the Northeast Asian region as a single object of study and undertaking comprehensive studies instead of segmenting by nation and discipline, as is often the current practice. In this regard, ARI has set as its research agenda: "The Transnational Space of Northeast Asia: Intellectual and Socio-cultural Exchanges, Institutional Interactions, and their Restructuring."

Objective 2
Establishment of a world-class Northeast Asia Data Research Center and data sharing system

ARI plans to systematically collect and organize basic and technical data on Northeast Asia for the continuous advancement of regional studies. To this end, ARI will expand and reorganize the existing ARI Library—the East Asia Digital Archive System into the Northeast Asia Data Research Center. ARI also plans to build a data sharing system to share information with research institutes for Northeast Asian studies both at home and abroad, thereby establishing an efficient and reliable infrastructure for regional studies.

Objective 3
Nurturing internationally competitive regional studies experts and next-generation scholars

ARI plans to nurture internationally competitive regional studies experts by providing financial support for ARI researchers to carry out overseas data surveys and by conducting joint studies with partner institutes and researchers abroad. In addition, ARI will foster next-generation scholars by creating an interdisciplinary program for Northeast Asian studies, running a research course and supporting internship programs.

Objective 4
Establishment of a research community through academic exchanges at home and abroad

By hosting symposiums and operating exchange programs for professors and researchers in conjunction with regional studies institutes at home and abroad, ARI will further promote the existing research network that it has built, thereby developing a community for Northeast Asian studies researchers.

Objective 5
Public service programs to share the results of regional studies

ARI will actively utilize the results of its Northeast Asian studies for the benefit of the public, thereby extending the scope of regional studies. To this end, ARI plans to release its research results online and provide both public education programs and open lectures.

Research Divisions
Project 1 Research Team : (North)east Asian Regional Identity and Historical Prospects: The Legacy of Communication and Integration
Research Contents
  •  The Development of East Asian Conflicts and Experiences with Communication in the 20th Century

In post-modern Northeast Asia, regional identity is strife with competition and exclusivity amongst the regional states. In order to resolve regional conflicts and competition, the idea of communication and cooperation as an approach is discussed in terms of its use and reality in history. By examining historical contexts, this research analyzes the results and limitations of such an approach. Through this analysis the aim of this research is to reveal the historical context behind the multi-layered and conflicting local identities in Northeast Asia.

  •  The Historical Legacy of Regional Identity Formation

This research looks beyond individual national history by examining the possibility of a future-oriented, common perception of history in order for peace and harmony to manifest in Northeast Asia. The aim of this research is therefore to explore the possibility of a common perception of history based on the reformation of individual national identities and learning from the past to promote unity and cooperation

  •  The Dynamic Dimensions of Northeast Asian Identity

This research examines the influences of various socio-cultural dimensions of human interaction– individual and regional identity, as well as mutual perceptions– in Northeast Asian identity. In the case of individual or group dimensions, the overall increase of trans-boundary factors are important; however, when discrimination is experienced by migrants or other situations, individual identities can be major factors in human interaction. The changes in human interaction and related socio-cultural phenomena caused by individual and regional identities, as well as mutual perceptions will be examined.


Project 2 Research Team : The Realistic Prospects of Northeast Asian Regionalism: Korean Unification and Mutual Dynamics of the East Asian Community

Research Contents
  •  Strategies for Promoting Korean Unification and East Asian Political-Economic Cooperation

If the division of the Korean Peninsula represents the beginning of the regional Cold War, its unification is the most important ‘rite of passage’ for the end of this war and perhaps the beginning of a true regional community. This research explores strategies for promoting political, economic, and social cooperation with the unification of the Korean Peninsula as the scenario leading to East Asian cooperation.

  •  Ways to Reinforce Political and Economic Cooperation in East Asia

Korean unification does not rest solely on North and South Korea’s shoulders, but this research argues that it is also dependent on the development of transportation linkages through China’s three northeastern provinces and eastern Russia. Such a project is expected to help resolve the strained political and military relations as well as expand economic and human exchanges in the region. Moreover, this research analyzes potentialinter-Korean economic integration and its impact on RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and the trilateral FTA between Korea, China, and Japan. These developments are looked at in terms of the potential for a stronger foundation for an East Asian economic community.

  •  Korean Unification and Creating an East Asian Community through a Two-Way Linkage

This research tackles Korean unification and the development of an East Asian community by uncovering variables that can overcome the various asymmetries through a two-way linkage. By linking these variables this research aims to construct an analytical framework that can point towards the possibility of Korean unification and the formation of an East Asian community.