Recorded one week before his now-infamous interview on the BBC, Robert Kelly (@Robert_E_Kelly) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Pusan National University. Dr. Kelly’s research interests include international relations theory in East Asia, U.S. foreign policy in Asia and the Middle East, Korean Foreign Policy, and international financial institutions. Dr. Kelly has written for Newsweek in Korea and Japan, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, and The Diplomat, and he contributes to the Lowy Institute for International Policy and the Economist Intelligence Unit – Asia Group. He is also an avid blogger who runs the Asian Security Blog.
1:37 on thinking of Korea as a career opportunity
2:43 the demand in academia for scholars in Northeast Asia
4:00 on staying in South Korea for so long
5:00 on being an academic in South Korea
7:30 differences between Seoul and Busan
9:00 the implications of an over-centralized South Korea
10:40 how to make Busan more competitive
13:16 what’s it like working at a Korean university
13:48 politicized, factionalized Political Science departments
15:45 what American universities can learn from Korean universities
17:11 two directions for Korean universities to internationalize
19:30 how international relations have changed in Northeast Asia (North Korea)
21:23 what everyone is waiting for in North Korea
22:15 is North Korea really in a period of marketization?
24:20 what the doves need to show about North Korea
25:45 Kaesong Industrial Complex
27:25 US vs Korean academics
29:54 Political Science in South Korea not related to North Korea
30:15 effects of modernization in South Korea
31:40 South Korea’s government system
33:57 South Korea’s views on Japan
36:18 on nationalism in Asia
40:55 why be a professor?
43:22 going to graduate school for Political Science (too much math?)
46:50 the problem with academia in South Korea
47:25 why not to read think-tank papers
48:35 why was the field of International Relations created?
49:10 what are South Korean university students like
49:30 complaints of the Korean education system (hagwon)
53:32 best thing about living in South Korea
55:20 best books / authors on Korea
People, Places, Things Mentioned in the Interview