Colonialism and Imperialism in the Quest for a Universalist Korean-Style International Relations Theory

  • Citation: Cho, Young Chul. ‚ÄúColonialism and Imperialism in the Quest for a Universalist Korean-Style International Relations Theory.‚Äù Cambridge Review of International Affairs 28, no. 4 (2013): 680‚Äì700. https://doi.org/10.1080/09557571.2013.807425.
    • Topics:
    • Great Power Conflict
    • IR Theories
    • Keywords:
    • East Asia
    • South Korea
    • colonialism
    • imperialism
    • international relations
    • IR approaches

This article aims to conduct a critical appraisal of two major discourses in South Korea on how to construct its national school of international relations (IR) in the global academic field. This article argues that South Korean IR academia’s recent quest for an independent, self-reliant national school of IR with universal applicability still appears to be operating under a colonial mentality, either treating Korea as a mere test bed for mainstream rationalist IR approaches or mimicking the character of hegemonic IR theory, thereby reaffirming it. The normative consequences of seeking to promote a national rival to dominant theorizing provide an interesting case study on the sometimes hidden politics of IR scholarship.

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